Monthly Archives: March 2012

Amazing Animals By Design: A TOS Review

Amazing Animals By Design: A TOS Review

Amazing Animals By Design: A TOS Review


Sacha’s<25: This children’s storybook introduces the concept of intelligent design to children in a way that they can understand.

Home in the Trenches Product Rating (out of 10 stars)

Is it worth our time?  10 stars
Did it help us learn?  9 stars
Is it worth the money? 9  stars
Is it useful to me? 8 stars
Practicality- 10 stars
Quality-  10 stars
Kid Rating-  10 stars

Book Description:

Why is a giraffe’s neck so tall? Why do zebras have stripes? Did all of these things happen by accident? When John and Sarah visit the zoo, they ask these questions and many more. Their parents and the zookeepers keep using the word design, but what does that mean? With its relevant message and exciting presentation, this is the perfect book to help introduce children to intelligent design. Come find out in Amazing Animals by Design by Debra Haagen!

From the Author:

The purpose of my book is to introduce young children to the theory of Intelligent Design.  There are books explaining the theory for older students and teens, and there are storybooks about Creation.  What I was finding with children I worked with in church and other places, however, was that when many children get to elementary school age and start to learn about the theory of Evolution, they believe the storybooks to be just that – stories.  I wanted storybooks for use in church and in homeschool with my own children that would begin to explain to younger children that there is scientific reason behind the theories of Creation and Intelligent Design, in addition to the historical documentation we have in the Bible.  When I could not find any books like that, I decided to start writing them.  Amazing Animals by Design is my first, and I hope there will be more in the series.  I wrote the book for children ages Pre-K up to about 3rd grade, at which point they may be able to understand the more scientific books that have already been written.

Our Experience:

We received the PDF ebook of Amazing Animals By Design for review purposes.  However, it is also available as a 24 page paperback book.  My husband pulled out my iPad to read it to our 2 youngest girls (ages 5 and 3) but within 2 minutes of reading it all 5 of my children we listening to the story.  The book is written for Pre-K to 3rd grade.  (3rd grade would be pushing it a bit).  It held everyone’s attention and the little ones wanted us to start reading it again as soon as we were finished!

Everyone loved the story of the family (mom, dad, brother and sister) who go to the zoo to see the animals.  The kids in the story ask why certain animals have different characteristics…this leads into teaching about intelligent design, which is woven into the story. My kids loved the graphics.  They are really neat-just like the cover of the book.






What I liked:

  • Cute graphics
  • Easy to understand book for kids gently introducing the concept of Intelligent Design

What I didn’t like:

  • nothing, my kids are still begging to read the book again and again!

To sum it up: Looking for a easy way to introduce young ones to the concept of intelligent design…look no further.  In a world where evolution is shoved down kids’ throats this is the perfect way to show the Biblical concept of intelligent design.


The important information:

Amazing Animals By Design

by Debra Haagen

Published by:  Tate Publishing

Order from: Tate Publishing-

Price: $8.99 paperback book, $7.99 PDF ebook

Come Check out their Facebook Page

Author website:

Author Blog:

To read other TOS Crew reviews of this product click here.


Disclosure/Disclaimer:  I received the above product free of charge for review purposes.  I am only expected to give an honest review.

Media, Violence, and Our Children—Hunger Games?

Media, Violence, and Our Children—Hunger Games?

Many of you read the post I wrote earlier this week about The Hunger Games and whether we should allow our kids to read or watch it.  If you didn’t check it out here.

Our job as parents is to protect our children. It is time to stop letting our children, their friends, the media, society, the public school system, and our own friends make our decisions for us. None of these should be a barometer for our decision making process above or before we seek His will and wisdom from the Bible.

My husband forwarded me an interesting article warning about the violence in the Hunger Games and how that will be affecting our children.   Check it out here.

Just because your child read the books in no means should provide them with permission to go see the movie.  Reading and seeing are 2 different things….this movie has over 20 deaths which are portrayed on the big screen.

This comes from Common Sense Media:

Parents need to know that although the bestselling Hunger Games books are enormously popular with tweens, there’s a clear distinction between reading about violence and seeing it portrayed on screen. Developmentally, the 10- to 12-year-olds who’ve read the book may find the movie’s visceral, sometimes bloody teen-on-teen violence upsetting — especially the brutal scene that opens the Games, in which several teens are slaughtered by their fellow contestants. Even young teens need to be mature enough to deal with the 20+ deaths in The Hunger Games; characters are viciously dispatched with various weapons — including spears, arrows, and swords — as well as by having their necks broken, their skulls cracked, and their bodies ravaged by carnivorous and poisonous creatures. Despite the violence (which is, overall, less graphic than the novel’s descriptions but is still very intense), the movie explores thought-provoking themes about reality television, totalitarian government, and screen violence as entertainment. And Katniss, the main character, is a strong heroine who’s resourceful, selfless, and a true survivor. Her mentor, Haymitch, is initially depicted as a cynical drunk, but he ultimately proves to be a valuable ally.

This comes from Fox News:

“Psychologists say that parents have a reason to be worried. Reading about the violent death of children is one thing, but seeing it in a visual medium on the big screen is something entirely different, and possibly more damaging. The film, although rated PG-13, includes more than 20 deaths! For the youngest readers, the violence and the concepts in this book may have been largely lost on them,” explained developmental psychologist Shoshana Dayanim, PhD, who focuses on how video affects children and adolescents. “A movie experience is completely different. It becomes tangible, imaginable and the visceral response one most certainly experiences at the movies may be terrifying for these children.”

Yes, I read all 3 of the Hunger Games books.

I enjoyed them—from the standpoint of seeing what happens to a society that has too much governmental control.  Lots of interesting thoughts and conversations around that theme within the books.

No, I didn’t enjoy reading about kids killing kids.  In fact, the 2nd and 3rd books in the series are much more violent in the descriptions of the killings and if I had read those first I wouldn’t have continued to read them.

The crazy thing about this is that we can’t believe how barbaric the gladiator games were in Roman times.  BUT  now we are reading and watching movies about this same situation WITH CHILDREN AS THE MAIN CHARACTERS and allowing our children to participate in this crazy form of entertainment.  

Yep, it is a huge issue with more conversations to have about it….please take a moment and read the articles I linked to above and prayerfully consider what you allow your child to be exposed to.

What Happens When 6200 Women Come Together? (Part 2)

What Happens When 6200 Women Come Together? (Part 2)

As you probably know by now I attended the Hearts at Home Conference this past weekend.  Wow, what a great time.  I really can’t even put it all into words.  IT WAS JUST WHAT I NEEDED.  So often as moms we find ourselves all alone….(well, except when you want to go to the bathroom).  What I mean is that we think we are in this mom thing by ourselves.  It was so great to go and see that I am struggling with the same things that other moms are….Getting our kids to pick up after themselves, trying to make the most of each day, and breaking up disputes between siblings.

Anyways, I have plenty to share with you…including some fashion tips I  learned!  But before I do here are a few more pictures from the conference.

I was going to take notes on my iPhone until I realized that I would have killed my battery.  Good thing, because I took over 6 pages!

Flylady…need I say more right now?  If you haven’t heard about her…!

The Duggars…I could go on and on and on about them.  Sweetest, most real couple…more to come later!

What Happens When 6200 Women Come Together?

What Happens When 6200 Women Come Together?

I still can’t believe that between 2 days at the Hearts at Home Conference this past weekend over 6200 women were ministered to.  We laughed, cried and sweated.  Yes, it is not supposed to be 82 degrees in IL in mid-March.  This made for some hot rooms, but great weather to be out and walking around the campus of ISU.

These pics are to give you a glimpse of what happens–

This is a view I took after finishing up lunch….these are some of the ladies who chose to eat outside on the lawn.

You guessed it, all those boxed lunches were devoured quickly and there were piles all over the campus like this one!


More to come later this week!  Have a super day!

A Few Thoughts a Day from Hearts at Home 2012

A Few Thoughts a Day from Hearts at Home 2012

I went to the national Hearts at Home conference this past Friday.  It was the first time that I went.  Between the 2 days over 6200 women were registered to attend.  Record numbers.

So many things I want to share, not enough time or brain power to get them all into logical sentences right now.  I am going to try to sit down a few minutes a day and just post a few things at a time!

Two of the main speakers that I saw were Michelle Duggar and the Flylady!  Today I just want to leave you with an important point Michelle and her husband made:

You have 2 main jobs as parent….the first is to train your childen to love God .  The second is to train them to love others.  If you do these two things the rest will fall into place.