TOS Review: Apologia iWitness

Apologia ReviewI have to be honest with you, I have fallen in love with every product I have ever tried from Apologia Educational Ministries. Seriously, I recommend their stuff to all of my homeschool mom friends! So of course, I jumped at the chance to check out their new worldview iWitness books. We got a copy of the Old Testament iWitness, New Testament iWitness, and iWitness Biblical Archaeology. The books are appropriate for all ages as read-alouds and I think the pictures and format would appeal to children and adults, but for reading alone they work for ages 11 and up.

Apologia Review

The books are written by Doug Powell, and are set up almost like a scrapbook, with different fonts and pictures set up to look like a collage. Old Testament iWitness tackles questions like “who wrote the Old Testament?” and “How were the books collected?”. Powell presents historical evidence factually, allowing the reader to put the pieces together and draw their own conclusions. My oldest son and I read this one, and both of us learned things we didn’t know. It also inspired a lot of discussion, and a desire to go back to the Bible and read the books themselves (which I really appreciated).

Apologia Review

In New Testament iWitness, topics explored include the authors of the books, how they were handed down, and how we know they are accurate. It also includes some church history. This book I read with my 8th grade son who found the information about how the books were copied and the different translations so interesting that he wanted to go to our Christian bookstore and look at the different translations so he could compare them himself!

Apologia Review

The iWitness Biblical Archaeology was probably the most interesting book for both of my boys. It was the first one my youngest grabbed, and his brother kept bugging him to finish so he could check it out. It begins by talking about the Flood and the search for Noah’s Ark (a topic of high interest for both of my kids). I found the parts about the Dead Sea Scrolls very interesting, and the section about the world during Jesus time also sparked a lot of discussion.

As is typical of Apologia, all three of the books are beautifully done. The images are just gorgeous, and I think these will work very well for kids who are visual learners. The text is broken up into small chunks, which is good for kids like my youngest son, who sometimes gets overwhelmed with a lot of words on one page. However, I do have friends with kids who get flustered when pages seem overly “busy”, and there is a LOT to look at on these pages, so I could see them having a problem with that.

I think these books are a fascinating read just for fun, but you could also easily use them for school as well. For my high school son, they make an excellent resource for worldview or a study of church history. I like how the author presents the facts without a lot of opinion. For my younger son, we used them as a supplement to our regular Bible study, and I kind of let him go for further exploration of whatever topics he found most interesting. Each iWitness book costs only $14.00, which is a great price. These are a perfect addition to any library, and also make excellent “coffee table” books!!

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Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

So we went to Washington DC for a family trip and in an effort to save money I brought my crock pot along to cook dinner so we didn’t have to eat out every night. Since the weather is cooler up there, I figured I would try out this new recipe for chicken and dumplings. It was a huge hit!! It made enough to feed us for two nights, and my hubby and kids loved it!

4-5 boneless chicken breasts
3 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 medium onion
1/2 stick butter
4 cups chicken broth
3 cans Cream of Chicken soup
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 can refrigerated biscuits


1. Chop the carrots, onion, and celery and place the in the crock pot.
2. Add the chicken and place the butter on top.
3. Add the garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
4. Mix the chicken soup with the chicken broth and pour on top of the chicken.
5. Tear the biscuits into small pieces and stir into the broth.
6. Cook on low for eight hours.
7. Shred the chicken and serve.

That was easy!! Let me know if you like it. Thanks for stopping by. Check out more new recipes here:

Menu Plan Monday 10/13/14

We are back from our awesome vacation in Washington DC and I am returning to our regular schedule. The food up there was wonderful and I couldn’t believe the amount of choices, but to save money, I did bring my crock pot and cook four of the six nights we were there. I did pick up some interesting cookbooks with recipes I want to try!! So, this week at our house, this is what’s for dinner:

Monday: Enchilada Casserole

Tuesday: Chicken Tamales

Wednesday: Beef Burgundy

Thursday: Grilled chicken with baked potatoes and asparagus

Friday: Hawaiian Pork

I am glad to be back to our routine and linking up with Menu Plan Monday again! Thanks for stopping by, see you next week!

Family Field Trip: Washington DC

At the White House

We are back from our whirlwind trip to Washington DC. It was so much fun! I didn’t think we would manage to see everything in 6 days, but we pretty much pulled it off. Today I am going to share some of the highlights from our trip and some of the things we learned along the way! First: The Metro is your best friend! Seriously, traffic in the city is beyond crazy. Just trying to get to our hotel we had to make a complete circle because of all the one-way streets, and it was bumper to bumper all day long. When we first arrived at the Metro, a very friendly staff member helped us pick out the best passes for us (I was genuinely surprised at how friendly and willing to help the people were up there! I figured in the fast-paced city that might not happen). We purchased the one-week short trip passes. They cost $48.00, but allow you to ride as many short trips as you want. This was really helpful as we were taking one and two-stop trips during the day. If you take a longer trip (like the 9 stop ride to our hotel) you have to pay a little money after you get off the metro, but it was never more than 30 cents. There’s also a great Metro app that allows you to find the nearest station and tells you when trains are due in.

The first day we were there we hit the Museum of American History, which was awesome. Their display of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner brought tears to my eyes. My hubby and boys really enjoyed the interactive displays at the Air and Space Museum too. And of course, we walked the National Mall and saw all the monuments!

The Lincoln Memorial

On our second day, we toured the Capitol building, the National Archives, and the Library of Congress. I have to say, they are so breathtaking in person. Our guides told us that we were there at the perfect time, because most of the tourists were gone and the lines were very small. Also, the weather was perfect, cool, but not cold. We could have spent hours poring over the Declaration of Independence, and I loved the gorgeous columns and murals in the buildings.

The hushed tones at the war memorials and Arlington were moving and humbling. We saw quite a few Vietnam Veterans there. I thought the World War II memorial was the most beautiful, and I was really amazed at the Korean War Memorial too.

The International Spy Museum was high on my son’s list of things to do, but I was a little concerned about the price. However, I was able to find an online deal for tickets at $11 each, so we went and it was totally worth it. They have a ton of interactive displays that are just so much fun!! We were also very fortunate that our hotel offered a free breakfast and came with a kitchenette. I brought my crock pot and made meals in the morning, so we really only ended up paying for lunch, which saved a lot of money. Of course, there are so many great places to eat in DC! You can find pretty much everything. The food trucks even have their own app (Food Truck Fiesta) that allows you to track their location!!

By far, the favorite part of trip was our last night there. We stayed in the city for dinner that night, and then went to the National Mall and saw the monuments all lit up. They were so breathtaking at night. Honestly, if you go to DC, be sure to make time to do this!

So, this was, hands down, one of the best trips ever! Even though we had a 15 hour drive, we didn’t mind a bit!