And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Devotional for Kids with Giveaway

Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling Devotions for Kids, has a new children's devotional out titled Jesus Today. This is the latest review book we received from Tommy Nelson. Jesus Today has a blue cover with a happy yellow bird on the front. It is easy to recognize the resemblance of the covers of Young's two devotionals.

Jesus Today includes 150 daily devotionals. Each one is followed by printed scriptures. The book also has inspirational quotes scattered throughout and a scripture reference index in the back.

A few things struck me about this devotional. It is bright and colorful and will certainly appeal to kids. I think it is probably more appropriate for younger children. This devo has loads of scripture in it which is great for getting kids to dig into their Bibles from cover to cover. I find that devotionals written from the viewpoint of God bother me more and more as I get older. I felt the need to let the kids know that this was written by a person even though it uses "I" and "me". I also found this devo has more repetition than we've come to expect even in children's daily readings. While each page is unique, many of the topics were similar.

One that stood right out to me was number 60. It discusses turning off all distractions and learning to focus on God. That's so important for us to learn, kids and adults too! You can check out a special preview of this book here.

If you'd like to win a copy of Jesus Today by Sarah Young, fill out the easy Giveaway Tools widget. One reader will be randomly selected to receive a copy!

Monday, January 25, 2016


M is for machines. Or Maytag machines because I got a new washer and dryer set recently! Hooray for that! Our dryer went out and since it has been repaired several times, we decided it was time to buy our first ever brand new, matching washer and dryer.

It was fun going and looking at all the different types of machines that are available. One child had a grand time opening and closing EVERY SINGLE WASHER AND DRYER in the store. Since our laundry room is set up where a washer and dryer cannot be placed side by side, I was very interested in the machines that wash and dry. Actually the store we were in had one at a very reasonable price. In the end, I was too worried that it wouldn't work correctly. I may regret not choosing that one, but I am very pleased with the models we selected. I also went in knowing I didn't want a front load washer. I've heard too many stories of leaks and stinky washers. We did enjoy looking at all the different choices though.

We picked the Maytag Centennial set based on price and size. We had been using a washer that was too small to do blankets or comforters efficiently. I believe this one will hold a light comforter when needed and it will definitely do blankets. The impeller instead of an agitator gave us even more room, but I know we will need to carefully balance loads. This is also our first HE washer. I'm excited at the prospect of a washer that uses less water and energy. Since we do 1-2 loads of laundry every day, it is important to save where we can!

I didn't receive any compensation for this post. I just wanted to share my M for Machines excitement with you! It seems much more fun than my other ideas (Mom, Math, Malice, Marketing, Monday). I will also be linking up with Through the Calm and Through the Storm and Adventures with Jude for Blogging Through the Alphabet.

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Porcies and Tocks

I've never read a steampunk book before so I was intrigued by Curio. I received this latest review book from BookLook Bloggers and dug right in to the world created by author Evangeline Denmark. The main character Grey lives with her parents and grandfather in a town under the control of the Chemists. Each resident must line up daily to receive their portion of a formula that allows them to eat without getting sick.

The Chemists don't just control the portions. They also have locked the town down with rules and a curfew. Grey knows her father and grandfather ignore some of the rules to help those who live on the outside of town and don't have access to portions. Grey doesn't initially know that her father and grandfather have some big secrets that pertain to her and their family history.

As a result of disobedience to the Chemists, Grey finds herself trapped in a strange world full of Tocks (living robots) and Pories (porcelain people). She needs to find someone and bring her back with her to the real world. In the meantime, she is thrown into the strange new world and must adapt as best as she can.

I really enjoyed the premise of Curio. The storyline is intriguing and innovative. The characters were all very interesting and kept me turning the pages. While I don't typically read much science fiction, this book (and I'm guessing most steampunk) has that vibe, and I still enjoyed it. I wasn't able to predict the ending and that always makes me happy. However this book is listed as YA or in some places as a teen fiction. I'd definitely say it would only be appropriate for a much older teen. There are no steamy love scenes but the story does include some physical elements that wouldn't be for younger readers. I only point it out because I was a little surprised by them since this book is from Blink which is a division of Zondervan. I haven't read other books from Blink so this may be common. While Apple would love the fantasy of a world in a curio cabinet, she's nowhere near ready for the romantic level of the book. For an adult though, this is a good read!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Strategy Game for the Whole Family

We're in the midst of one of the few, short seasons of the year when my kids aren't in any sports or other extracurricular activities. We're still staying busy with school and work and church but we have had a few lazy hours at home. It's been the perfect time to try Stratos Spheres by ThinkFun (which they sent us for review). Stratos Spheres is a 2 player game for ages 7 and up.

The kids figured Stratos Spheres out on their own in a few minutes time. You begin with a neutral piece (the white sphere) and each player get 12 blocks of their color (yellow or blue). The goal is to get 4 pieces in a row of your color. You can go diagonally, horizontally, or vertically. Each sphere has holes and connectors so you have to make sure at least one connector is attached to a piece next to it. 

This game is easy to learn and the concept is simple enough but there is some strategy involved as you attempt to make your connections while blocking your opponent's colors. Both children enjoyed the game. Even when they were losing, they wanted to keep playing. Definitely a fun, quick game for them to play with one of us or each other. As usual, ThinkFun included a bag to keep all the pieces in one easy to find place! 

This is a great game for multiple ages!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Fun Family Math Game

This cold, snowy weather has given us the change to play some family games. Last night we tried Math Dice Chase(the latest item I received for review from ThinkFun). This fast paced game includes 4 giant die and a carrying bag. Each dice has 12 sides with numbers on them,

Math Dice Chase is quick to learn and easy to play. 4 players sit in a circle and 2 players opposite one another begin the game. They each get 2 of the die. They roll and state the numbers shown as a multiplication problem. They must give the answer. Once they do they pass the die to the player next to them. When someone gets stuck with both sets (by not answering quickly enough), they are out. This is very similar to the game hot potato. You don't want to get stuck with the dice so you must say and answer the problem as fast as possible.

 This is so much more fun than just saying multiplication tables! It can also be used for addition or subtraction. Both of our kids had a great time playing. I can see this being a great time out from "regular" school time. As you can see above, the pieces are also fun for stacking while you wait on your family to get their snacks.

It is recommended for ages 8 and up but if you were practicing addition or multiplication, it would be fine with younger kids. The game is quick so no worries about littles getting bored.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Add to Your At Home Coffee Bar

Before the holidays I started working on a coffee bar in my dining area. I am really enjoying this little nook each day. I will reveal the whole thing to you when I get it completed. In the meantime, I was very excited for the opportunity to review an Ozeri Deluxe Milk Frother and Whisk.

This little stainless steel product comes with 4 attachments and a stand. It also came with batteries. While it was smaller than I expected, it has two speeds which I didn't expect. I decided to test it on some hot chocolate since it is cold and snowy! I heated the milk in a coffee mug in the microwave. Then I carefully pulled it out and ran the frother in it. First on the slow speed and then on the higher speed. I will say it definitely frothed the milk and didn't take long at all! I wish the device would heat the milk as well to eliminate a step.

Once the milk was frothed, I added hot cocoa powder, stirred it with a spoon, and quickly took a picture before my kiddo snatched it. He drank it right up and said it was very smooth and yummy. 

The extra attachments include an additional milk frother, a "cocktail" mixer, and a mini whisk. I'm thinking those will come in handy!

The small size means this will be easy to store and clean up is easy. Just gently pull the used attachment from the hand grip and wash.

Now I just need to finish my coffee bar and get my espresso pods!

The Best & Worst

This week there was a really sad situation in our community. I won't delve into all the details of the incident, but I will say over the course of a week the best and worst in people really came out.

We live in the Volunteer state and that really showed. Something was announced and hundreds of people showed up. There was food and people to serve food. Folks showed up with resources from their own homes and pockets. A church and another building were open for most of the week. Volunteers came in droves for an entire week to help out. It wasn't just locals either. People came from other cities and even other states. Members of law enforcement, the fire department, and other agencies showed up every day. Many on their own time after working long shifts. These people took time away from their own lives and families just to help. Just to give of themselves to help a fellow person in need. I was in awe of the support shown to a family that most didn't even know.

It took less than a day for the ugly side of human nature to start. Some began to question the circumstances. Rumors started to fly. Facebook became a place I couldn't stand to be. The vile things that people feel like they can say online are disturbing. "Monday morning quarterbacks" started giving all their "advice" and opinions. Evidently they thought they could handle things better even though they hadn't left the warmth of their home. It wasn't just online. Every person everywhere had an opinion and felt they should share it. I guess their mamas didn't teach them that they don't have to say every word that pops into their head. In a time when many of us were raw and emotional from the situation and/ or time away from family members that were volunteering and/ or volunteering ourselves, these loose lipped people put us over the edge. Many of those in the community demanded more information, as if they were somehow entitled to every detail of an incident that didn't involve them in the least.

Can we please get back to manners and etiquette? Can we remember that Jesus said,

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. Matthew 12:36

Can we realize that we don't have to have a loud opinion when people are hurting? I wish all those "keyboard commandos" had spent their time in prayer for this family instead of bashing everyone involved. 

Unfortunately, the situation was resolved in the saddest outcome yesterday. While there is some blessing in closure, I know many had held out hope for a happy ending. 

Even after public announcements were made and all the questions were answered, the worst people came back out. I guess those tv crime show "experts" were upset that their theories were wrong. Once again they went to social media to share more rumors and conspiracy theories. Those who had so diligently spread psychic's vague suggestions still felt the need to bash law enforcement and those same men and women who gave hours upon hours during the week. 

While my human nature would love nothing more than to return the bashing upon those worst people, instead I will just say they need JESUS. They need our prayers. 

If something this tragic happens in your community, remember that your opinions are just opinions. Please support your emergency personnel. Offer prayers. Offer assistance. Do not offer criticism and do not demand answers or information. Remember that we all make mistakes and that sometimes bad things do happen to good people. Remember that God's plans are better than our plans. And please, please, please remember that even on social media, one should use wisdom and manners before posting. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Save $10

This post includes affiliate links. 

Teach Them Diligently will be starting soon! Nashville is up first and will be held March 17-19 at the Opryland Hotel. Save $10 using the promo code "SAVE10FOR5" on a Family Registration. TTD will include amazing speakers and a HUGE curriculum fair. This is a flash sale so register today for Teach Them Diligently.

This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, January 18, 2016


This week Blogging Through the Alphabet is on "L". Love seems an appropriate L word for the week. It's almost Valentine's Day and we just finished Christmas which is really a celebration of the love God showed us by sending His son Jesus. Soon it will be Good Friday and Easter when we will remember the ultimate sacrifice from Jesus out of His love for us.

This morning in Sunday School, our discussion meandered all around topics of love. We are studying Matthew and you can't help but see all the love Jesus shared when healing people and driving out demons. Even when speaking to those who were against him, he was firm but loving in his reponses. Then we began discussing parenting. In particular parents who allow and even encourage their children to "date" or have "girlfriends/ boyfriends" as young as 8 or 9. We couldn't help but feel sadness at the social media pictures of girls as young as 11 attempting to look like grownups. I'm so glad we are surrounded by other parents in the class who share the same values we do.

In a world that currently seems to embrace the "hook up culture", I want to guard my children's hearts and minds. I want them to understand that love comes from God and that scores of "relationships" too early won't have a positive impact on their lives. I want them to understand healthy relationships.

Our discussion also included more talk about parents that don't set limits or seem afraid to tell their children "no". What is that? So many parents fall under the lies of "they'll do it anyway" or "I can't stop them". WHAT? Parents if you believe those lies, please get your household in order. True love, real love isn't afraid. It isn't being scared to guide someone in the right direction. Jesus came and guided out of love. He sent people away to "SIN NO MORE". He pointed out the things they were doing wrong and misinterpretations. He did those things out of LOVE. Loving someone doesn't mean embracing their bad ideas.

Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I'd want those around me to guide me in the right direction if I were going astray. I'd hope that's the love they would show me. 

I'm linking up with Through the Calm and Through the Storm and Adventures with Jude.

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Monday, January 11, 2016


I KICKED around a bunch of K ideas the past few days. I thought about mentioning all the businesses around the area with "Klassy" in the name (that's for you J & H). I toyed with ideas for a "Keeping House" post or one about "Kids". I even thought of the old Xscape lyrics "Kick off your shoes and relax your feet...". In the end I've decided you'd probably rather read a Kindergarten post.

Time really does pass quickly. It seems like we JUST did Kindergarten but really it's been a few years. Both kids were at home for those years. Apple really did her K at age 4 when we pulled her from the public Pre-K program. She learned to read that year (really well!), and we enjoyed one another's company while her little brother went to a Mother's Day Out type program two times per week.

She enjoyed coloring and reading the most. We did some math, but it has never been her favorite. We used Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program (with the DVDs), and it was a HUGE success. She finished up the Kindergarten and 1st grade levels that year. We were fairly laid back at that age. We did some school every day, and she enjoyed worksheets so we had lots of those.

Speedy also learned to read with Hooked on Phonics, but he took his time. For Kindergarten, he did the K levels. He has always enjoyed math, and he jumped right in Math U See Alpha that year. I do have all his curriculum for PreK and K listed on my curriculum tab. He's never been a big fan of coloring or worksheets so we tried to keep those to a minimum. He also took more time with writing although we practiced letters a lot that year. His time was a little more structured because big sister was doing more school that year.

I must say I miss those years! I know at the time I constantly worried if I COULD even homeschool my kids, but our time was more relaxed back then. I worked less and we had more free time! However I love that my kids are more independent now, and they are both so smart! Not that I am biased....

I'm adding this fun K post to Blogging Through the Alphabet with Through the Calm and Through the Storm and Adventures with Jude.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Jesus Said....

My Sunday School class has slowed down our reading of the Bible. Now that we are in the New Testament (just at the start of a New Year!), we are going to go a few chapters at a time rather than half or all of a book a week. We began this past week with Matthew 1-4. It was a shorter reading than I had become accustomed to but there is so much packed into 4 chapters! As I was reading it I was thinking about memory verses. We haven't focused on memorization much in our school time but I really want to implement that more.

As I read through the beginning of Matthew 4 and focused on Satan's temptation of Jesus, I realized there are 3 terrific memory verses right there. What words could be better to memorize than those spoken by Jesus?

So we will be beginning 2016 by learning the 3 reponses Jesus gave to Satan.

From Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (NIV)

From Matthew 4:7 Do not put the Lord your God to the test. (NIV)

From Matthew 4:10 Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. (NIV)

We know Jesus was quoting scripture we have in the Old Testament. These are simple verses that shouldn't take long to remember. I will post them in our school room and write them down for each of the kids. Once they can both quote one from memory, we will move on to the next one. Since we are studying Matthew right now, I'm sure I will be taking our next set of memory verses from it as well.

Do you memorize scripture in your homeschool or home? Do you have a favorite method for choosing verses or for memorization?

I'm sharing this post on Blogging through the Alphabet because J is for Jesus! Check out this fun weekly link up hosted by Through the Calm and Through the Storm and Adventures with Jude.

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Free Gifts from IEW

It's no secret that we LOVE IEW. This was the first year that I really implemented some of Institute for Excellence in Writing's curriculum. The kids have learned so much from it already and both of them really enjoy Andrew Pudewa and his humor. I originally became interested in IEW through their 12 Days of Christmas giveaways. 

They do these giveaways every year and they are always so generous. It's already day 8 of the giveaways but if you sign up for the emails today you can get access to the last few days. I promise there will be some giveaway that you really enjoy. If not you still can enter to win 1 of 12 IEW $100 gift cards (how amazing would that be?!?!?) and you will receive a code for free shipping from their website. 

It's easy to sign up ( and you will receive an email with a link to the freebies each day. I hear day 12 is going to be really special!

If you've wanted to know more about IEW without buying first, this is the best way to learn more about the company and what they have to offer. 

Wanna learn more about why we love IEW? Check out my reviews from earlier this year.

Teaching Writing: Structure and Style & Fix It! Grammar

Phonetic Zoo

Year End Blowout Sale

{This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links supports the Carter Chaos blog.}

Educents is having a HUGE....

c (13)

As we head into this new semester on Monday, we are hoping to get back into Life of Fred math on a regular basis. It is one of Apple & Speedy's favorite ways to learn! They also both LOVE to read and always enjoy National Geographic books so I will be checking those out as well.

One resource I ALWAYS recommend is the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program. Right now you can score the whole set (PreK through 2nd grade) for only $129!!!! That is an incredible savings. I paid so much more than that for the 4 grades when I bought them individually. 

Out with the old, in with the new! Our friends at Educents have come through with an end if the year blowout sale that's too good to miss! These deals won't be around after the first week of 2016, so you have to act fast.

On top of these already awesome deals, you can use the code SAVE15 for an extra 15% off sitewide, or FREESHIP for free shipping on orders over $49.


Life of Fred Elementary Math Series - The wildly popular Life of Fred books are a great way to get your child excited about math. I know it sounds crazy, but kids everywhere love the misadventures of math genius Fred.


National Geographic Kids World Atlas | Space Encyclopedia - National Geographic is one of the most trusted names when it comes to education about our world. Through brilliant photography, the National Geographic World Atlas can help educate your entire family.

5 Kit Magic School Bus Variety Bundle - The Magic School Bus has spent decades educating children about all facets of science. Now, with this variety bundle, the lesson can continue in a fun and engaging way. Perfect for kids aged 5-10, this bundle will be more than enough for a whole school year of learning fun.


Freestyle Building Kit - Children have loved building toys as long as the simple wooden block has been around. The Freestyle Building Kit pushes that creativity even further with this kit. The kit includes thousands of blocks of various vibrant colors; the kit will be more than enough to help.


Spanish Course - Buy 1 Get 1 Free - Learning another language is one of the most valuable skills you can have, and countless studies have shown that the earlier you start, the easier it is to learn. This buy-one-get-one-free Spanish package is already a great deal, and now you can get it for even less.


Scholastic Beginning Reader Boxed Sets - When it comes to supplying books for young students, not many do it better than Scholastic. From LEGO, to Star Wars, to Clifford, these books are a great way to get your littlest learners excited about reading.


Scholastic Young Reader Boxed Sets - And for the slightly older readers, you can continue their education with some more classic books. With topics ranging from Harry Potter to Minecraft, any young reader will be sure to find something they like.

Whether you are a parent hoping to turn playtime into learning time, a teacher stocking up supplies, or a homeschooler starting new lessons in January, there's something on Educents for you.

Shop the Educents Year-End Blowout Sale

This post contains affiliate links.