There Was Always Laughter in Our House review

   Yes, we’re back to the schedule I set forth at the beginning of the month! I do apologize for the mixed-up schedule; when I put it together, I didn’t consider the blog tours that I signed up for. Well, hopefully now we can get back on track! 🙂

    And, for those who are wondering, I’m planning on doing the same schedule in December, just because I haven’t been reading as much lately (*gasp*) and have been writing even fewer reviews. Thank you all so much for following even during “times like these”. 😉

Well, let’s get on to the post! 🙂

   “What do you get when you mix two parents who grew up in the city, six kids who have always lived in the country, and add homeschooling? You get a whole lot of laughter!

“Homeschool graduate and author Sarah Holman shares stories about her family that range from thought-provoking to side-splitting. She shares both hilarious mistakes and heartbreaking moments in her family. In this collection of stories, she endeavors capture some of the answers to the questions people have often asked her about growing up in a conservative homeschool family as well as some of the wisdom she has gleaned along the way. Sarah invites you to open up this scrapbook of memories. She hopes that you come away encouraged, inspired…and laughing.” ~from

Title: There Was Always Laughter in Our House

Author: Sarah Holman

Genre(s): Non-fiction, biography


Romance Content: Nothing bad; talks once about getting married.

Recommended age range: Would be appropriate for all ages; I recommend 12+ for interest level.

My Review:

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

For some reason, I feel like crying. It’s not like this book was sad or anything… perhaps it’s because it’s over. ❤
I enjoyed this book tremendously! It was simply amazing! Coming from a homeschooled perspective myself, I knew a lot about some of the stuff she talked about… but then again, that’s not to say that her family is not unique! It was interesting to learn about unit studies… they sound like a lot of fun (we do Classical {I guess that’s what you call it?? 🙂 }). It sounds like the Holman family went through some tough times, but I loved how they still trusted in God and loved each other through it all.
I also loved the pictures at the beginning of each chapter- I think I’ve learned to recognize most of the Holmans on sight… but then again, Rebekah, Sarah and Mikayla (okay, so Grace too) look a lot alike… Rose is the easiest to spot (well, besides Michael, of course); in my opinion, she doesn’t look much like the rest of the family. 🙂
I can’t say that this book was rolling-in-laughter funny, but it did have some funny parts. 😉
There was one minor theological point that I didn’t agree with, but otherwise I cannot think of anything that I didn’t like. I would most certainly recommend this book to everyone, homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike!

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.**

To see my post for the blog tour for this book, please click here.

Footprints in the Barn,204,203,200_.jpg


   “Who is the man in the green car? What is going on in the hayloft? Is there something wrong with the mailbox? And what’s for lunch? The answers to these and many other interesting questions are found in the book Footprints in the Barn.” ~from


Title: Footprints in the Barn

Author: Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castlebury

Genre(s): Christian Fiction


Romance Content: Absolutely none whatsoever! 🙂

Recommended age range: 5-13

My Review:


This was a great book! All of the different mysteries were figured out in the end, and I especially liked the ending to The Mystery of the Hayfort (not to confuse anyone; this is not a collection of short stories, just Jason and Andy solve three mysteries through the course of the book)! Good principles are learned in this book, such as working hard, not complaining, and being grateful with what God has given you. I highly recommend it for ages 5-13, although it is appropriate for all ages.


The Scripture Sleuth 3, by Matthew Halverson

  “Who stole the lumberjack statue? Is a peanut butter sandwich really powering the digital clock, or is it just a science fair scam? Why is there a mysterious skydiver in Pine Tops? Concord Cunningham can crack all the cases, but can you? In the third volume of unique Scripture Sleuth mysteries, Concord once again faces an exciting new case in each chapter. Though Concord always solves the mystery, he never gives away the solution. Instead, he reveals the location of a Bible verse which holds the mystery’s final clue. Then it’s up to you to look up the clue and crack the case! Not sure about your answer? No problem. The solutions are at the back of the book.

“Scripture Sleuth 3 also includes ” The Greatest Case,” which brings Concord face to face with another Scripture Sleuth. Together, they investigate the most important case ever. These timeless and lighthearted mysteries are certain to make you think, laugh and make looking up Bible verses is irresistibly fun.” ~from Goodreads


Title: The Scripture Sleuth 3

Author: Matthew Halverson

Genre(s): Christian Contemporary Fiction, Mystery


Romance Content: None

Recommended age range: 7-10

My Review:

I loved this book! I enjoy books where you have to solve the mystery, and having to look up Bible verses for it? That was a great idea! The mysteries were each unique, and I only figured out a couple without looking in the back.

I am not sure what Bible version is used in this book, but I don’t think that it was KJB. That is a slight downside to it, but I still enjoyed it very much. 🙂 I would recommend this book for ages 7-10.



Autumn with the Moodys, by Sarah Maxwell


“Starting where Summer with the Moodys ended, the Moodys begin their new homeschool year. Not only is Mom experiencing morning sickness, but Maple, the eleven-week-old puppy, adds her twist of excitement. Packed into the book, you’ll find the Moodys helping their grandparents move nearby, an emergency trip to the doctor’s office, puppy training, birthday excitement, blessing neighbors, homeschooling–and to wrap the book up–a special Thanksgiving surprise!” ~from

Title:  Autumn with the Moodys

Author: Sarah Maxwell

Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 6/5

My Review:

I don’t know, maybe I was in a better mood when I read this book, but I liked it better than the last one. It had more action (in the last one it didn’t seem like the Moodys DID much, if you know what I mean). And I’m starting to agree with the idea that books should have good examples in them (as opposed to people being bad, and getting punished for it). There might just be something to that! However, I think that there still should be some “conflict” in a story; otherwise, it just gets boring (kinda like the first book in the series). 😉
So, I guess that this “review” was more a stating of my opinions in general instead of a review of this book in specific, but I hope you don’t mind. I guess I’ll tell you some more about the book below (DO NOT READ IT IF YOU DON’T LIKE SPOILERS!!!):
SPOILER ALERT!! I LOVED Maple! My family is hoping to get a puppy, so that just made her more adorable. ❤ And the stuff with Mrs. Moody having morning sickness-very realistic, people! My mom hasn’t really had much with her pregnancies, but I know people who have. This just adds to the reality of the book, which I liked. And… Grandpa Moody getting saved at the end!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ !!! I loved that Miss Maxwell gave the whole salvation plan, and what exactly happened (as opposed to just saying, “he accepted Christ”). So, yeah. There were a lot of things that I liked about this book. 😉 SPOILER END!!

How was that for a review (and some MAJOR spoilers)?!? I think I did pretty well giving away the main points of the book (in that last section). 😛

BYE!! ❤

Brave the Wild Trail, by Milly Howard


   “Florida after the Civil War was one long stretch of wilderness. Men had to struggle to feed and protect their families. Armed with the eighteen-foot bullwhips that earned them the name of “Crackers,” these men lived by hunting small game and by driving the wild yellowhammer cattle that haunted the scrub.

   “Eben Bramlett’s dream is to run a cattle drive down to Punta Rassa on the southern coast. His twelve-year-old son Josh, also expert with both horse and bullwhip, is his partner. Together they assemble a small company to begin the four-month trip to Punta Rassa. With rustlers, outlaws, and wolves ahead on the trail, they mount up and ride out.” (summary from

Title: Brave the Wild Trail

Author: Milly Howard

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 10/5 😉

My Review:

I loved this book! It was a great read for a quiet afternoon. 🙂 Nothing bad about it; it was even from a Christian perspective! It is a fairly short book (121 pages), but jam-packed with adventure. 😉 It had small mysteries scattered without (like MINOR SPOILER!!! “who was the man watching the cattle?” SPOILER END!!!), but I don’t think it was a main part of the story. Some girls may not enjoy it as much as I did, as a boy is the main character, and his mom is the only woman/girl in the book (PLOT SPOILER!!! they are on a cattle drive for most of it, and the other helpers are men and boys SPOILER END!!!), but I thought it was okay. 🙂 All in all (I feel like I’m saying that a lot at the end of my reviews…), this was a WONDERFUL book. 😉

The Mystery of the Missing Map



  “Kate, Anders, and Erik have traveled to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where Kate’s Irish relatives live as caretakers of an enormous mansion. Kate is excited to meet her cousin Megan for the first time, and it turns out the two girls could be twins- except something about Megan is very different. Will it keep Kate and Megan from being best friends?

“Soon after their arrival, Kate, Anders, and Erik learn about a treasure map hidden somewhere on the grounds of the estate- but when two shady-looking men are seen lurking around the mansion, Kate is worried they will steal the missing treasure. Danger trails the foursome as they race to find the missing map and the treasure it promises- before the thieves catch up.” -from the back cover

Title: The Mystery of the Missing Map

Author: Lois Walfrid Johnson

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Rating: 1289679474-2.png1289679474-21289679474-21289679474-2

Series: The Adventures of the Northwood #9

My Review:

This book was very entertaining, and had just enough ‘scary’ parts to keep me on the edge of my seat, so to speak. It did have a bit of romance, but nothing overly inappropriate (kissing, etc.); mainly just MINOR SPOILER! Kate and Erik SPOILER END!  making eyes at each other. The mystery part of it was very well developed (oh my, now I’m sounding like a professional critic!), was very exciting, and it was not easy to predict the outcome. I highly recommend this book!

The King’s Daughter and Other Stories


“Due to the noble effort of the original California publisher, these stories were found in nearly every orphanage in our land during the late 1800’s. We bring to you an original reproduction of the 1910 edition with its 100 illustrations.” -excerpt from the back cover


Title: The King’s Daughter and Other Stories for Girls

Author: Various

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Series: Character Classics #1

My Review:

This little book is full of great short stories that will convict your heart. I would recommend it to younger girls. It is full of good character-building short stories.  The only thing that I did not like about is was that it was hard to read it in one sitting, because, after awhile, it got a little repetitive. This book has a great message to it, though. 🙂

****For those who were wondering, yes, I posted this a day early. I am going to be busy tomorrow; we are expecting some overnight guests on Friday. Thank you for understanding!

Beyond the River, by Robert Elmer


  “Spending the summer at their uncle’s farm off the west coast of Denmark promises Peter and Elise Andersen freedom from the constant German patrols and bomb sirens that plague their home town. But on their first night at the sheep farm, a British bomber is seen lighting up the night sky- its engines in flames!

The plane crashes into the icy waters of the North Sea, but by the time they arrive, the pilot has struggled to shore and hidden himself in the thick woods. Knowing they must find him before the German soldiers do, Peter, Elise, and their cousins begin a feverish search for the endangered British pilot.

“The guard dogs are barking and the German trucks are rumbling in the distance- will Peter and Elise be able to rescue the pilot in time?” -from the back of the book

Title: Beyond the River

Author: Robert Elmer

Genre: Christian Fiction

Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Content: 5/5

Series: The Young Underground, #2

My Review:

I love this series! My favorite part was when SPOILER!! Peter gets saved!!! SPOILER END!!  The only part that I didn’t like was that they mentioned “the bishop” and that the pastor was wearing a clerical collar. That almost makes it sound like they are Lutherans, but I’m not sure. I loved the story, though! I am starting to like “suspenseful” books more. 🙂

The Treasure Hunt, by Kate Willis




Picture from Goodreads

The Treasure Hunt was written by Kate Willis.  This short story contains 52 pages.

The Treasure Hunt is about three children: Lily, David and Anna.  Their older sisters create a treasure hunt for them, to make summer not so boring.  They follow the “trail” everywhere; from the barn to the book shop.  The three siblings make sweet memories together in this charming little book.

My Review:

This book was a nice short read for the afternoon.  I liked how the siblings were always complimenting each other, and how the older sisters planned the treasure hunt for “the middles”.  The only thing that I did not like was how the details were a little blurred sometimes, like in the second scene, where they go to the sisters’ room. (I’m not even sure if it was their room; I’m just assuming that)  Other than that, this is a nice little read for a sunny day.

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review*



Kate Willis has been homeschooled her whole life in a loving family where the Gospel of Jesus Christ, creativity, and good conversations are high priorities. She loves red shoes, a good story, little children, and chai tea. It is her desire to serve God in the home ultimately having a family of her own in the future. She is the author of The Treasure Hunt, numerous short stories, and many other works she hopes to share with you.


Author’s Blog

A Peep Behind the Scenes, by Mrs.O. F. Walton


Picture from

A Peep Behind the Scenes was written by Mrs. O.F. Walton.  My copy contains 255 pages.  This book was published by Lamplighter Publishing.

A Peep Behind the Scenes is about a little girl named Rosalie.  Rosalie is the daughter of a traveling theater director.  Because of this, Rosalie, her mother, and her father live in a caravan.  They constantly travel to different fair-grounds to put on their show.  Mr. Joyce, Rosalie’s father, is cruel and does not care about Rosalie or her mother.  Mrs. Joyce is fatally ill, and worsens because of the constant moving.

At one town they pass, a elderly man gives Rosalie a card with a picture of a shepherd holding a lamb on it.  Underneath the picture it says “Rejoice with Me, for I have found My sheep which was lost.  There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”   Rosalie and her mother get saved because of this card.

Throughout the story,  Rosalie learns more of her mother’s background.  As different events happen, Rosalie has to learn to trust in the Lord.  She eventually goes to live at her aunt’s house, and along the way leads a few people to Christ.  She lives happily at her aunt’s house until she grows up.

This was a wonderful book about a young girl as she grows up.  I liked how Rosalie always trusts in the Lord, even when things get tough.  I think that that is a good attitude to have.  I highly recommend this book to young ladies 8 and up.


Written by Leona G., 11 yrs.


Dash, by Kirby Lars


Picture from Goodreads

Dash was written by Kirby Larson.  It contains 243 pages. This book is a fiction novel and begins in Seattle, Washington.

Mitsue “Mitsi” Kashino is living in Seattle, WA during World War II.  When she starts school, her friends from last year reject her because of her ethnicity.  Mitsi tries to be friendly to them, but another girl steps in to take her place as their best friend.  Eventually, news comes that all people of Japanese descent must go to camps to live.  And the worst news of all: Mitsi must leave her beloved dog, Dash, behind!  Mitsi and her family find a neighbor lady to take care of Dash until they come back.  And they are off to the camp!

The first camp they go to has only plywood houses.  Mitsi’s whole family – 5 people – must share a very small shack.  In a letter to her dog, Mitsi complains that she has to step over her brother’s cot to get to her own! Eventually they get moved to another camp.  This one isn’t much better though – the first was muddy, but the next was very dusty.  The only good thing about it (as Mitsi wrote) was that her best friend’s shack was next to Mitsi’s.

Eventually the good news comes – pets are now allowed in the camps!  Mrs. Bowker, the lady who had taken care of Dash, brought him to Mitsi.  Mitsi, overjoyed, hugs him as hard as she can.  All is well again!

This would be a good book to read if you are learning about WW II.  I enjoyed the parts about Dash. 🙂


Written by Leona G.



Zipper by Ellen Miles


Picture from

About This Book:

“Charles and Lizzie Peterson love puppies. Their family fosters these young dogs,giving them love and proper care, until they can find the perfect forever home. When Lizzie goes up to the mountains with her best friend, Maria, the girls think that they’re get a break from their dog-walking business. But then Zipper shows up and Lizzie can’t resist helping this adorable pup!” Exerpt from the back of the book.

Review: If you like dogs than this is the perfect series for you. I love dogs, and I also love this series. A great book! No bad words or anything, either. It would be great for ages 7-10. ♥♥♥♥♥

Series: The Puppy Place #34

Publisher: Scholastic Press

ISBN: 978054560381

Written By: Leona G., 10 yrs.

A Family Apart by Joan Lowery Nixon

About This Book:

The Orphan Train Adventures begin in 1860 in New York City, where Mrs. Kelly, a young widow, realizes she cannot give her six children the life they deserve. Mrs. Kelly makes the ultimate sacrifice of love and sends them West on the orphan train to find better lives with new families. The children, especially thirteen-year-old Frances Mary, feel an overwhelming sense of betrayal and abandonment. Their arrival in St. Joseph, separates the children not only from heir mother, but also from each other as well. One by one they are adopted by western families – some looking for children to love, others only seeking cheap labor. Frances has promised Ma that she will look after Petey, her youngest brother, no matter what. Will honoring Ma’s request help Frances understand that splitting up the family was really her mother’s act of love?” Exerpt from the back of the book.


This book is very interesting. It would be good for girls ages 8-12. Some of it is also sad, like when the children are separated. I am hoping that all of the rest of the books in this series are as good as this one. Five stars!♥♥♥♥♥ (or hearts!)

Series: The Orphan Train Adventures

Publisher: Gareth Steven Publishing


Written By: Leona G.