Monday, May 30, 2022

Book Club: Book Review of When the Day Comes


I received a COMPLIMENTARY copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

I thoroughly enjoy historical fiction, so it came as no surprise that when the book When The Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer was available for review, I jumped at the chance. The story is set in two time periods I enjoy reading about – Colonial Williamsburg and the Gilded Age. What makes this historical fiction very unique is that the main character is living in both time periods as she is known as a time-crosser. 

"We were walking on the path God had ordained, standing in the center of His perfect will, and I never wanted to be anywhere else."  When the Day Comes

About the Book 

In When the Day Comes, we follow Libby as she lives out her life in 1774 and 1914. "When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she's the same person at her core in both times, she's leading two vastly different lives" (book jacket). When her twenty-first birthday arrives, she must choose which life she wants to continue living. She thinks she has everything worked out as to which life she wants to live, but events in one timeline bring to a halt her plans. 

With this being historical fiction, there are several figures and events throughout both timelines that are real. For example, the fictional character of Henry Montgomery from 1774 works alongside George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. And we read of the suffrage movement of the early 1900s and the start of World War I in the Gilded Age. And the characters of Libby and her mother in 1774 are based on real people from Colonial Williamsburg. 

Book Club: Book Review of When the Day Comes; book cover and A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo

What Did I Think? 

I was very excited to read and review a new work of historical fiction that had such a new premise. As I started to read When the Day Comes, I found myself getting frustrated at times. Libby's Mama (1774) pushed the idea that her daughters could accomplish great things and continue to have ambitions and dreams that were not typical in the 1770s. Libby's Mama was a time-crosser to 1994. I don't see anything wrong with girls dreaming, but they should be time-appropriate dreams. The book focused on the fact that they should change history, but by pushing the agenda to dream big, wouldn't that impact history?

I enjoyed a great many of the minor characters, such as Libby's maid, Edith, in 1914, the servants at Cumberland Hall (1914), Congressman Hollingsworth, Mariah, and Abraham in 1774, and even British Lieutenant Addison in 1774. They were all thoughtfully brought to life to support the main cast of characters. And even with some of Libby's flaws, she was a lovely heroine. She, along with her Mama, trusted God had provided them with the life of time-crossers and left events in His hands. 

I would recommend When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer to those who enjoy historical fiction, Christian fiction, and encouraging stories. The descriptions of the characters, places, and events were wonderful and interesting. I look forward to seeing what events will be brought to life in Book 2.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Dice, Decks, and Boards: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters

Dice, Decks, and Boards: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters; ghost figure from game; A Mom's Quest to Teach logo

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

We love board games in our house, especially cooperative games! We haven't been able to play a lot of games as a family lately but as our home life and homeschool shift, we will be playing more games together. Perhaps even instituting a family game night. 

Family Game Night Ideas 

Speaking of family game night... do you hold one with your family and friends? There are so many great ways you can get together for games and there are so many games! We enjoy everything from board and card games to roleplaying games to video games, and we have played all these different types of games together. Here are some ideas you can try with your family and friends. You can host:

  • A game night featuring cooperative games only 
  • A game night featuring competitive games 
  • A game night with family and friends where everyone brings their favorite short game to play 
  • A virtual game night where you play video games remotely with your family and friends 
  • A game night for roleplaying - create pre-generated characters or start an epic dungeon campaign 

Dice, Decks, and Boards: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters; click to learn about the game; box cover; A Mom's Quest to Teach logo

A Few Favorites 

In the past, I have shared many games that our family enjoys from one of our favorite video games to how we used roleplaying games to inspire a birthday party. Games provide a great form of entertainment that allows our family to not only spend time together but work together too. 

On my blog, you will find a variety of favorite types of games including: 

Tenzi Game and Tenzi Card Deck (a review courtesy of Timberdoodle): This is a fun dice game taken to a new level using the deck of cards which changes how the game is played.  

Roleplaying: Our family enjoys roleplaying games, so much so that we have hosted roleplaying birthday parties for our oldest son.

Cooperative Games: Our daughter loves games where we all work together to win the game. She loves games like Mermaid Island because we have a common goal and we either win or lose together as a family.

Video Games: As much as we enjoy board games, dice games, and card games, we also love playing video games together. Minecraft has become a family favorite because we can all play together in one world.  If your child is a fan of Minecraft, I have shared several posts over the years including crafts featuring the letters of the alphabet or pixel art and a Minecraft-themed birthday party.

Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters board game; A Mom's Quest to Teach logo

Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters 

While searching for unique Christmas gifts, my husband found Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters on a recommended list of cooperative games. As we like to purchase at least one game for Christmas each year, this seemed like the perfect game to purchase. Each game playthrough is different as you and your teammates draw cards, place ghosts, collect treasures, and make decisions. So, it has immense replay value. And the fact that we work together cooperatively also meant that our daughter would be more willing to join in our first play-through attempt. 

What exactly is Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters? 

From the back of the box: "In a dark and dreary house, every sound sends a cold chill through your bones. A door opens - is someone there? You hear whispers, but no one answers when you call. Your eyes and ears may deceive you, but the hair on your neck tells you what you already know: there are ghosts here." 

You and your teammates are on a quest to discover the 8 treasure jewels that are scattered throughout the haunted house. As you draw cards, you will either advance without adding any more ghosts or haunts, or you will add ghosts to the different rooms in the house. By adding ghosts into the house, you will be increasing the haunt level. If the house is fully haunted before you get all the treasure out, you will lose the game.

What Comes with the Game? 

With your game come all the necessary components to play Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters, including a set of instructions that provides you with the information to play the basic game and the advanced game. The advanced game adds in a few extra cards which will advance the haunting of the house as well as lock doors to the different rooms. 

Also included is the following: 

  • 1 Game Board
  • 4 Treasure Hunter Movers 
  • 19 Cards 
  • 24 Ghost Movers 
  • 6 Haunting Figures
  • 1 Movement Die
  • 2 Fighting Die
  • 8 Treasure Jewels 

Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters figures and board; A Mom's Quest to Teach logo

What Do I Think? 

Due to the cooperative nature of Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters, this is a big win for our family. I love the fact that winning the game requires players to talk to each other and strategize. During one game session, we talked about who would team up with whom in order to defeat ghosts, to be able to escape rooms with jewels. (If there are two Treasure Hunters in one room with a ghost, you can roll two battle dice, giving you a better chance to succeed.) 

I am impressed with the quality of the pieces and the cards. If one plans on playing a game multiple times with children, it is nice to find all the pieces are well-made and have a sturdy box for storage. Each item goes in its own spot in the box which makes cleaning up rather easy, too. 

I would recommend Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters to families who enjoy playing games together. If you enjoy cooperative games, then this is a good challenging game for you and your family. In the half-dozen or more times our family has played the game, we have only won once. While it is difficult to beat the game, it is not difficult to learn how to play. No one was so disappointed in our previous losses that they didn't want to play the game again. I think this speaks volumes about the re-playability of a game.

It's not a scary game, only takes about 30 minutes, and is perfect for two to four players. I think you will enjoy playing Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters, too. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Journaling Through the Bible: Do Not Worry

A Mom's Quest to Teach logo: Journaling Through the Bible: Do Not Worry with floral background


While taking care of my mom as she needed intense care during the last weeks of her battle with Alzheimer's, I turned to the Bible more and more often. There were many times I merely flipped through my Bible and read excerpts here and there until something stuck out to me. Then I would sit and read a few verses or chapters and make notes in my Bible as I felt comfort or had questions or ideas.

In addition to reading my Bible for comfort, I also read it to find what I would like to share at my mom's memorial service. Over time, I found four different pieces of scripture that I thought would be appropriate. One is from the book of Luke (chapter 12). 

worry with cloud and wave drawing

Do Not Worry 

I am a worrier. So much so that I have periods of very high anxiety where I have trouble with decisions and often forget to turn to God for comfort. I think it is very fitting to want to share the verses in Luke about not worrying. Jesus told his disciples not to worry. God takes care of the birds and flowers. He will take care of us in our need. Do not worry about the treasures here as long as you trust the Father.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Luke 12:34  on rose background with A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo

As I was talking about what verses I would like to share at my mom's memorial with my husband, he suggested I look at the same advice in Chapter 6 of Matthew.

"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life; what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing." Matthew 6:25 

A Mom's Quest to Teach: Journaling Through the Bible: Do Not Worry with floral background

God takes care of us at all times. I often felt very alone – even with my immediate family helping – as I took care of my mom. As my mom needed more and more care and communicated with us less and less, I worried about everything. If only I would remember to trust God.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6: 33-34

God knew exactly what steps needed to happen in order to provide me with solace and ease my worry.  As our family navigates life without my mom, I only hope we can turn to God and not worry. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Book Club: Book Review of Farmyard Faith

A Mom's Quest to Teach: Book Club logo; Book Review of Farmyard Faith; farm background photo

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

I am fortunate enough to receive many homeschooling resources in my position as the Social Media Manager for the Homeschool Review Crew. I don't write many reviews of the products anymore, but I felt I had to share my experiences while reading Farmyard Faith by Kinsey M. Rockett. Of the three books the Crew is reviewing from Whatsoever Stories, I picked this one to read first as it detailed the experiences of the author over the course of ten years on their family farm.

About the Book 

Farmyard Faith is a work of Christian non-fiction that shares stories of the Rockett Family Farm. It starts with a funny but scary story about bees and takes readers on a journey through ten years of taking care of goats, geese, chickens, barn cats, and other animals. 

In Farmyard Faith, the author shares two poems, a glossary, and 101 things that most farming books don't tell you about, in addition to the stories about the animals and the farm. While their farm did not resemble the storybook farm with cows and sheep, the farm provided many valuable lessons about animals and about one's relationship with the Lord. In just over 200 pages, one will read about two potential fires, a goat with a scary but curable condition, three geese that shared a tight bond, and pigs who thought they were in control. 

To accompany these stories, Rockett shares how these experiences can further one's relationship with God. For example, in the chapter "Who's in Control?" the family tries to move several pigs into the trailer with great difficulty. They ended up calling the mobile slaughter in the end, which they could have done at the beginning of the ordeal but they decided to do it their own way first. She closes the chapter by reminding the readers in this work of Christian non-fiction that "If you will face life in God's strength rather than trying to get through it on your own, it will spare you a whole lot of trouble too" (151).

A Mom's Quest to Teach logo; Book Club: Book Review of Farmyard Faith; book cover

How Did I Use the Book in our Home? 

Initially, I was reading the book because I wanted to preview it before sharing it with our younger children. I thought it would be interesting to read as I had worked at a zoo and cared for the goats and sheep in the children's zoo for a while. Most often, I would read a chapter or two at the end of the day. But then, I decided to read a chapter aloud to my mom during mealtime. 

My mom moved in with us in 2019. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in January 2021. While we have been taking care of her during all this time, her daily needs intensified in February of 2022. My husband and I found it necessary to feed her meals as she could no longer feed herself. 

In addition to reading the Bible aloud to her, I decided to read Farmyard Faith aloud because she had also worked at the same zoo as me. I felt she would enjoy the stories about the animals and that the devotional parts would provide encouragement for all of us. 

I was only able to read three chapters aloud before her care intensified again and then she went to the hospital, but I really feel like those three chapters were just what I needed to read on those days. It is amazing how Christian fiction and non-fiction provide just the encouragement, inspiration, and solace we need. 

In the one chapter I read aloud to my mom, Rockett asks: "What kind of example are you setting for those who are watching you? If someone were to imitate you, what would their life look like?" (55). These questions went through my mind a lot as I was taking care of my mom. Through all the sacrifices our family was making to take care of her what were my children learning? What were they seeing? When I was too tired to play games with my children, would they understand? Was I setting a good example for them? 

I think I was answered in a later chapter about heavy rains and the potential for damage to their barn. Neighbors came to the Rockett family's aid. Rockett reminds us that "Jesus set the ultimate example, and He calls each of us to follow Him in serving others" (73). In those moments when I questioned whether I was doing the right thing by sacrificing our family time, space, and experiences, I was following the example set by Jesus. I was loving the Lord and my neighbor. I was loving my mom. 

A Mom's Quest to Teach logo; Whatsoever Stories logo; goose photo; cover of Farmyard Faith; girl with goat photo

What Do I Think? 

If you can't tell, I really enjoyed Farmyard Faith. I feel blessed that the author chose to have her books reviewed by the Homeschool Review Crew. I can't wait to read the other two books, which are Christian fiction.

I will be adding Farmyard Faith to our children's list of books to read. I believe both our son and daughter will enjoy reading about the animals, especially the goats and the cats. I think they may also find some of the same encouragement that I did while reading Farmyard Faith

I finished reading Farmyard Faith after my mom died, and I found the closing chapters to be of great solace. Our journey was very long and difficult, and like Rockett speaks of in "Cancel That Prayer," it was "painful and unrewarding" at times, but Jesus never promised that it would be easy. Taking care of my mom was not easy but it was worth it. I am thankful for the reminders in Farmyard Faith of that. 

I would recommend Farmyard Faith for homesteading families, homeschooling families, and families who enjoy funny and uplifting stories. I think it would make a lovely gift for the animal lover, mother, father, or young teen who wants Christian non-fiction to read. 

Do You Want to Learn More? 

Please visit the Crew Website to learn about the other two books and see what the rest of the Crew shared in their reviews. You can also read more about all three books by Kinsey M. Rockett by visiting here: Products.

A Mom's Quest to Teach: Book Club logo; Farmyard Faith book cover

Friday, May 6, 2022

Changing Our Homeschool Path

Changing Our Homeschool Path; A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo; school background

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page for more information. Thank you.

Our homeschooling journey took a weird turn when my mom moved in with us in May of 2019. In the beginning, I requested her assistance in homeschooling our younger children as she loved spending time with her grandchildren. Unfortunately, these plans – of having her help one of our children while I worked with the other – never came to fruition. Shortly after she moved in with us, we began noticing there were changes in her memory and personality.

My mom did a really good job of hiding all the problems that she was having with her memory and physical health. It wasn’t until I began writing things down – her getting lost on the way back to our house, arguing with us about items that she thought were hers but were in fact our property, etc. – that we were able to convince her to visit the general care practitioner. In October 2020, the doctor saw her and recommended she have additional tests and see a neurologist. With the events of the world, it was difficult to get the necessary appointments. So, the next step wouldn’t take place until January 2021. When we returned to the neurologist after additional tests, the doctor confirmed our fears – my mom was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

A Mom's Quest to Teach logo; little girl on a pony; sepia tone photo
My mom 

During the entire time she was living with us, our daily lives changed progressively. During late 2019, things remained mostly the same with the exception of a few details. I had extra housework as we had added an additional person to our home. We worried about another person as my mom would often be out past the time we expected her home, and she would not call us or message us. And we lost space as we tried to accommodate her and the items she was slowly moving from her home – my childhood home – to our house.

Little by little, things changed even more for us after the diagnosis. My mom got angry and suspicious. She would often accuse us of taking things, which did not happen. I hardly went into her bedroom, even though it provided access to our attic space and housed our children’s clothing dressers. I wanted to give her privacy.

I found, sadly, that giving her privacy meant that we didn’t see all the problems she was having until it was too late in a lot of ways. She destroyed many family photographs, pictures she colored (as well as those she colored with our daughter), and books. She took to cutting them up, writing all over them, and doing other things that caused them to be damaged or destroyed. I didn’t discover this until the last year of her life.

How did this impact our homeschooling? 

My husband and I needed to step in to directly take care of my mom in more and more ways. She stopped remembering to eat, so we needed to feed her. I had to help her with her daily hygiene needs and eventually, I needed my husband to help me do these tasks, too. With these additional tasks, our time was consumed with taking care of my mom. So in between these tasks, I set out what our children could do on their own or with the help of their older brother. And we homeschooled after dinner on many evenings. We had to be flexible in how and when we homeschooled.

My mom died on April 14, 2022. While we are struggling with our grief, we are slowly moving back into a normal homeschool routine. During the past difficult year of taking care of my mom, we continued to study math, language arts, science, and history. Some weeks, we were able to fit in foreign languages (such as our son’s studying of Latin and spelling. Now, I can see us moving back into an even more regular routine. I look forward to finishing some of our curriculum – we are almost done studying Mammals with Memoria Press – and adding back into some of the materials our son and daughter have been missing.

What Did I Learn from Our Journey?

It is very important to offer yourself grace. There were many days when I thought we weren’t getting any homeschooling done, but my children were still learning. They were learning how to cooperate and help each other. They were learning how to take care of those we love, even when it is difficult. They were getting more time to read and re-read books that they loved. They invented many games together – working out rules, scoring, and more. They learned the importance of love.