Saturday, July 23, 2016

This Crazy ~ Wonderful Life of Mine


It's been crazy busy again. My husband's grandma passed away earlier this month so we made an unexpected trip and were gone for five days. We are sad to see her go but at the same time happy that she's with Jesus. She had a stroke about eight years ago and couldn't do anything for herself. Not even talk. Someone had to feed her, bath her, just do everything. I can't imagine living like that.

We arrived home the same day Annette's plain was due to land. Yay! She actually beat us home. She and her Auntie. When we arrived home after a very long 10+ hour car drive, Annette was here to greet us. I've missed my baby girl so much.

She's home and working on a sewing project. It's nice to have my Murder She Write buddy back. We've been watching two a day =)

Joshua is finishing up his school year. Next month he graduates. He's a little late because he's been so busy with work. His regular Starbucks job, working for his dad (lots of hail damage and helping with the apartments), and he also has a job with a friend doing cement work and fencing, so yeah, he's been busy.

I'm really sad to write this because I'd rather not remember 20 years from now but our life has been so busy that we haven't celebrated Joshua's 18th birthday yet.

I did take him out to coffee on his birthday but we haven't celebrates with balloons and such.



My handsome son. Of course we had to take a picture of him next to the sign. This coffee bar actually opened in May (his birthday month!).

Josh 18yrs.
And wouldn't you know it, Josh bought me a gift! A bag of coffee. What a sweet boy I have or young man but he'll always be my sweet boy.
Joshua is in to selling and buying stocks. He's so smart. He is saving for his first rental. He reads lots of good books like real estate, Zig Ziglar books, investments, and such. His dad has a great collection of books that he borrows from. He's an amazing kid (adult). I love that he continues to study his Bible, loves the Lord, and strives to do his best for Jesus.

Caleb is in CA. He and Annette were in Florida for a little over a month and then flew to California in June. Annette came home around July 12 but Caleb stayed in California (and I miss him terribly). Caleb should be back toward the middle of August and I can't wait. It will be four months that my son will be away from home. I can't believe I let him be gone for so long.

Funny how things change. When he was little I never ever would have thought I'd let one of my kids stay with relatives for a week let alone a month. I know he's in good hands and is having the time of his life with Aunties, Grandma & Grandpa, cousins, and his Great Grandma. And he's with people that care about him.

Do I worry, yes of course! I'm his mother. I pray, we skype, I send tons of skype videos, I pray some more. 
Brent 14yrs.
Brent and Ethan left at the end of June too, sniff, sniff. I miss them so much too. My soft spoken Ethan, I worry about him but I know he's having fun.
Ethan 13yrs.
Brent, my wild and crazy guy. He just got a hair cut and looks as handsome as ever. 

Lance, he's being his crazy goofy self. My animated son. He cracks us all up. It's hard to believe he's going to be a preteen, 12 next month. Where has the time gone. Wow, I have 5 teenagers!!!
A Florida trip
Yes, my silly Lance. He's so funny. 

A short video of his silliness ;) 
Wow, Blogger actually uploaded my video. If it works I'll delete the YouTube one. I don't really like these videos floating around on YouTube. I did make it an unlisted video so hopefully that will help it NOT be too out there (ack!).
video

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Teen's Guide To The 5 Love Languages (Review)

Years ago when my kiddos were little my husband and I read The Five Love Languages of Children. It really helped us to understand each of our child's love languages. We see which kids that need more mom & dad time, affirmation, and others who likes little gifts.
There is a whole series on the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I was blessed to receive and review A Teen's Guide To The 5 Love Languages.

Quote from the publisher:

"In A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages, Chapman lays a foundation for what love really is (a choice) and how that translates into all relationships, and takes teens step-by-step through each of the individual love languages—words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and touch. He outlines the general characteristics of each love language, explains the various dialects within each language, and offers practical examples of how to communicate the love languages in the daily ups-and-downs of relationships. He also spends time focusing on helping teens navigate their relationship with their parents and siblings (it doesn’t have to be negative), shares how to handle anger and apologies, and encourages teens to focus on their “tribe.”"

Before your teen starts reading about the 5 Love Language there is a Getting Started: How Many Languages Do You Speak introduction type chapter.

The first 5 chapters focus on the five Love Languages. Each chapter ends with a Pause and Process section. There are questions for your teen to ponder.

Chapter:
  • chapter 6: And You?
  • chapter 7. Family
  • chapter 8. Anger & Apologies
  • chapter 9. Love is a Choice
  • chapter 10. Q &A Candid Chat with Dr. Chapman
Like the first five chapters these also have the Pause & Process. Some chapters have activities for your teen to complete.
Throughout the book (not on every page) there are illustrations and large font words/definitions ~to help the reader "see" and understand in a more non overwhelming or intimidating read. Making it more "pick me up" kind of book =)
I love how Dr. Chapman & Paige Haley Drygas didn't make this a huge 200+ page book. Some of my kiddos are book phobic (I know truly sad considering how much I LOVE books) so this one at 126 pages is perfect!

Gary Chapman does a great job with simplifying the love languages for my phobic reading boys making it easy to understand. He doesn't make it too deep for teens. It's done in a way that doesn't water down the information.

Right now my eldest son Josh (age 18) is reading this book. He saw it on my nightstand and asked to read it (wahoo!). It's a book that all my kids will read before leaving the house. I think it's very important for our young adults to know. These are the types of books that I would have loved to have read during my public school years ~ooks that teach real world stuff like understanding the Five Love Languages which in turn helps to understand others.
Annette 16yrs. (just came home from a three month trip) happened to see it in Joshua's room and is wanting to read it too! Yay!

We love our copy and would like to give one away as well. Please leave comment below Sunday I'll randomly pick a name out of a 'hat'!

This is for U.S. Residents only.

The giveaway is now closed, congratulations Amy!!!


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

MasterBooks ~Biographies of the Revolution Set (Review)


MasterBooks.com is one of my favorite places to "hang" out online. I love, love, love, browsing their site for good books to use in our homeschool. I was excited to be able to review Biographies of the Revolution Set (The Fight for Freedom).
Biographies of the Revolution MasterBooks Review
What I received: The Fight for Freedom physical book and Teacher Guide. You can purchase the student text and Teacher Guide as a download too! I love that Master Books has this option because I can easily print the student pages for more than one child.

Suggested grade levels: 4th-6th

The Teacher Guide (which I absolutely LOVE) includes a detailed schedule. You know me and schedules, I love having that option of things scheduled. Master Books has it down to what pages are to be read per day and when to use the student sheets.

You don't HAVE to stick to the schedule but it's really nice to have has a guide and to keep one on track ; ) And as always, it's a suggested weekly schedule. You all can move as fast or slow or skip things to make it work for your family.
Biographies of the Revolution MasterBooks Review
The student worksheets are perforated and are already 3-hole punched making it easy to put in a binder and/or make copies (for immediate family members only).

The history worksheets are used throughout the week if following the suggested schedule. The child will read the selected pages of the student text then answer some of the questions which makes it manageable for newly independent students.

The Teacher Guide also includes the student worksheets, test, answer key, and recommended resources.

The Student Textbook is awesome! It's full color with lots of pictures and a super bonus is a downloadable audio book. Each chapter of the audio book correlates with the Student Text giving review and additional information. The audio book chapters are scheduled on Fridays (great way to end a school week!).
Biographies of the Revolution MasterBooks Review
The Teacher Guide schedules a one chapter of the Student Text per week. The child will read the assigned pages (if you choose to use the schedule) the first three days of the week (Mon-Wed.), the fourth day the child will choose a project (there are usually 2-3 projects to choose from via the student page from the Teacher Guide), and the fifth day is the chapter test and the optional listening of the audio book (that is a free download).

Each chapter of the Student Text begins with a two page spread. On the left a full color picture of the person or event (as pictured above). The Right has the chapter title, what it's about, and smaller illustrations. The chapter will also include Storytime with Uncle Rick.
Fight for Freedom is a fun read. It's not a dry or boring textbook so don't let the word "textbook" fool you. As your child is reading through the chapter he will encounter, quotes, illustrations, and extra tidbits of information for a more enjoyable read. It's not one long boring chapter.
The font is a good size, not too small for elementary children. Great for struggling readers too because they don't have to strain their eyes trying to read small print, so the larger font size is a plus and we really appreciate that about this book.

You might also be interested in~ Timeline of the Revolution: America Struggles to Become a Nation.




Saturday, July 16, 2016

It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails (water)

Wow, day 26 already! I have four days of vitamins left (and another months worth is on its way!). Wahoo. Below is an unedited picture of my hair taken by me =) My hair isn't as red as some of the other photos. The lighting in some photos makes my hair color a bit off.
My hair hasn't grown a whole lot, although I've noticed near my forehead and sides where since my baby days hair hasn't been there~ some new hair growth in those areas but not length, so not sure what's going on there. My hair is really curly so it's hard to tell.

I have a lot of curls under the first layer of my hair too. Like really tight curls.
I had to take these pictures myself with my phone so there aren't a lot of pictures with me showing the back, sorry.

Even though these are not the greatest photos for the It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails challenge, I do like that you all can see a more natural look of my hair.
It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails has you take two vitamin supplements and says to drink eight cups of water. And that's just what I've been doing. I drink two 32 ounce jars of water a day. Thankfully I've always drank a lot of water so it's not something that I have to force down.

You can always make tea or lemonade and count that as water too if you don't like plain water. 
16oz glass of Lemonade:
Juice 2 or 3 lemons (although lemons are the best to get the living enzymes you can also use 3 tablespoons of lemon juice)
Add stevia to taste or 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup and a little stevia,
add ice and that's it.

So stay hydrated and drink your water!

These supplements are pretty big. Think horse pill size. Thankfully they don't taste bad. At least for me they are not that hard to take and this is coming from a woman who doesn't like these compacted grassy taste vitamins. I've taken them with just water but usually I take it with lemonade or tea.

The Hair, Skin, Nails supplement have peppermint oil and stevia add to the coating of the vitamin which makes it easier to go down.

If you really don't like taking these kind of supplements because of the size try downing them with tea or lemonade or whatever drink you like (orange juice perhaps).

The smell isn't too bad either because of the peppermint oil.
Since taking It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails, I've mentioned how soft my skin is (like really soft) and how a mysterious rash or dry patches have disappeared! I think I mentioned how soft my feet are now too! I don't have severely cracked or dry feet but they are dry. I try to remember to put lotion or oils on them but forget quite often.

Around my heels, they are soft. They are not super smooth or anything but there is a big improvement. Less white creases and rough patches are going away.

I'm really liking my It Works! Skin, Hair, Nails supplement. I love that I'm getting my daily dose of Selenium and most of my zinc along with other goodies.  

Read more:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I miss Ethan. He left to spend the summer in California. In the picture below he's helping me put some oils on the guineas, they have lice.



My boys the day they left (Ethan and Brent).

Spelling Pack for Sale by The Thinking Tree!

(This is a pinned post - please scroll down to read the current days writing, thank you!)

I'm excited to bring to my readers a neat sale of some of The Thinking Tree books. Sarah has been so kind to allow me to sell a Spelling Pack!
The Thinking Tree
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
Here's what's included in the Thinking Tree Spelling Pack:
You get all 5 books 20% off the original price - plus FREE SHIPPING!  To purchase these separately on Amazon you'd be paying over $100!!! 

U.S. Residents only and payments are made via paypal.

If you have children of all ages this would be a great Spelling Pack. You can have the 5yr. old using 100 Easy Bible Verses, 8yr. can start with the Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal or Spelling Time or Bible Time, while your 10yr. old can start with Master the Top 150 Words or Bible Time.
If you only have one child then you'll be set for the next few years! Or use one yourself. I'm currently using Bible Time and I have one for four of my kiddos ages 11, 13, 14, and 15!

You can read my reviews for some of the spelling books:
If you have any questions regarding the Spelling Pack please fill out the contact form using the words Spelling Pack in the subject line.

The Thinking Tree

It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails Day 17

Wow, I went more than a week with reporting how my It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails 90 Day Challenge is going. Just been busy. I was going to do a whole other weeks worth of daily post but getting in and out of that white t-shirt is a pain, hehe.

Not a whole lot of change. My hair is still being "freaky" as Lance would say ~with that gap of hair missing, so embarrassing. I always pull my hair back so I NEVER noticed before.

Here is a Day 2, Day 7, and today's picture. I'm on Day 17.
Nothing much yet but it's still early in the game.
These pictures were taken the first week I started.
My hair isn't much longer (yet). I think on Day 4 it was about the same as today's.

What I have noticed is my skin is super, super soft. Even my feet are softer. 

I have always had rashes. Ever since I was a kid. I usually got them below my elbow but they'd pop up other places too. The rashes would come and go. I've noticed since I've changed my eating habits 3+ years ago many of them have gone away without popping up. 

A few months ago I had some itchy-ness on my belly. Not a full blown rash but it itched. My belly button area was dry and itchy too. Weird, I know. I would put cream or oils but it didn't go away and of course I'd forget to do this regularly. Well, since taking It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails both mysterious itchy patches have gone away. No oils, creams, or Linda- concoctions (what hubby calls witches brew because I'm always putting something natural together for our ailments, lol).

One of the biggest things (and I'm not saying I'm healed) is my bottom lip (yup, another weirdness thing going on). Ever since I had oral surgery 4 years ago (wow, has it been that long) I do believe they hit a nerve (which is NOT good because you can go totally numb depending where and how hard they hit it) because ever since the surgery ~my bottom lip always feels chapped. It's so annoying. I am forever putting chapstick to get rid of the feeling.

Since taking It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails, I still have that chappy-lip feeling but not as much and not as strong! Meaning I don't feel like I HAVE to put chapstick on all the time. If I'm out and about and realize my lip feels dry it's not so annoying like before. Before I would almost buy a chapstick because that's how awful my bottom lip felt. 


I still can't wait to see how my hair looks at the end of the 90 Day challenge. I'm not even half way through so I'm hopeful.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mom's Fun-Schooling Handbook


Now that the school year is winding down (for me at least, 4 of my babies are gone for the summer), and homeschooling mamas everywhere are getting ready for another fabulous year! 

I have something that might help. Actually it's a gift from The Thinking Tree. Sarah is giving away a sample of her Fun-Schooling Handbook! Almost 100 pages! And there is a bonus page in the back ~how to make Green Lemonade an energizing drink for all you mamas!
Free Fun Schooling Hand Book at Homeschooling6
Sarah has allowed a handful of bloggers to share this download.
You can download your FREE sample of the Fun-Schooling Handbook for Moms HERE. Please be kind and do not sell the download. It's against copyright laws. If your friends would like a copy please have them drop by Homeschooling6 to download there's thank you =)  

Read my review HERE it has some wise words from Sarah Janisse Brown about fun-schooling! 

And watch a quick peek inside video below.


I want to thank The Thinking Tree for allowing me to share this 95 page download. It's very generous of  The Thinking Tree family!

The Brown family serves the Lord in the Ukraine and The Thinking Tree/Dyslexia Games is what supports them on the mission field. They have given away thousands of Thinking Tree books to families this past year. 

The Thinking Tree

Monday, June 27, 2016

Blast Off to Reading

Last week I received Blast Off to Reading to use with Lance. I can't wait to get started with this. It looks like a fun way to learn the rules of reading.
We did start but only completed two days because we have a lot going on with right now with fixing the house from hail damage, getting the kids ready to fly out to California, and just busy in general. My hubby is working on four properties right now plus his job so, yeah, it's busy.

I'll have a full review later but wanted you all to be able to check it out. I know some are getting ready for the fall.

The site has lots of free downloads and online games as well.
Blast Off to Reading
Hopefully after a week or so Lance and I will do some "summer" school and I can share a little bit about that.

We are going to take the rest of the week off from school.

It Works! Hair, Skin, Nails ~Day 7

Wow, seven days. It went kind of slow but I think it's because I keep wanting my hair to grow like five inches, just kidding, no I'm not I'd love for that to happen but I know it takes time (smile).

One thing I have noticed is my skin is so, so, so soft. I can even scratch my arm or leg and no whit mark like before. Even though I eat lots of yummy fats I still had a bit of dry skin. You know like when you scratch your arm you get that whitish streak which I'm figuring is dead skin.Now I don't get that.

My feet are a bit dry still so we'll see if it improves my feet, haha! I would like to add that I don't put lotion on daily or oils like jojoba, coconut, almond, etc. I try to stay consistent but unfortunately I don't. I can go weeks without putting any oil or lotion/cream on. 

I keep rubbing my arms because they are so soft. Lupe has noticed as well.
Day 7 ~taken 6/27/16

I bet the It Works! People never had a person participate in the 90 day challenge with hair like this before (above pic). I have to lengths!
My hair looks much better when it's pulled back. I guess that's why I didn't notice how choppy hair in the back.

Missing My Babies

Annette and Caleb have been gone for 10 weeks!!! I miss them dearly. I know they are having fun though.

In April when we took a trip to Florida we not only went to Disney World but to drop my two kiddos off with their Auntie. She has three kiddos and needed some help.

In June they all flew to California so that is where they are now. I miss them so much. I'm so thankful for modern technology.

Annette has a trac phone so I can send text messages but she can't receive any pictures so that's a bummer.

Caleb purchased an ipod before he left so he has skype. Guess what?!?! I just recently set my phone up so I could Skype Caleb and I LOVE it! Why didn't I do this earlier. I love sending little video messages. They are for him to share with Annette.

Last week they went to a discipleship camp at Hume Lake. They were not allowed to have their devices but that didn't stop me from sending text messages to Annette's phone and Skype videos. I left one video a day for them (if not more).


I did a double intro in the video above because I wasn't sure if I was recording. I also sent them lots of pictures of their guineas.
They are so cute and funny. Watch the video below, toward the end you will see a close up of Eddy as he is very curious about the camera ;)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Homeschool Portfolio Printable Pack by Not Consumed (Review)

Not Consumed has been so kind to let me review the Homeschool Portfolio Printable Pack. This is a great way to get your homeschool organized.
Not Consumed Homeschool Portfolio (Review)
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
What is included in your Homeschool Portfolio Pack

~About Me Page: this is really cute and I love, love, that it includes "My Favorite Bible Verse" a neat thing for our kiddos to add and look back on years to come.

Also included is space for your child to write seven things about them and questions to answer like favorite book, toy, place etc. A neat page to record lots of memories.
Not Consumed Homeschool Portfolio
~Morning Checklist: this way your child doesn't forget to brush his teeth (mine still forget if I don't remand them, ugh!) and I like that Proverbs 21:5a is at the top of the Morning Checklist.

~Reading Record: this includes space for your child to write the book title, date, author, and rate it by coloring in the starts. Pretty neat. My kids love the 5 star rating part. And the verse for this page is Philippians 4:8!

~Weekly Checklist is a must and although we are not doing school right now this will be used next school year. I love that you can edit this page and add what your child needs to get done daily.

What's really neat about this page is it's separated into three parts: at the top there are Monday-Friday boxes to put appt. or places you'll be going -this is on the student's checklist so they'll know what's going on that week just like mom! 

The second section being the kid's school work. All their subjects will be in this section and the boxes to check off as they complete. This is one page for the whole week.

Lastly on the Weekly Checklist is the habits section and you can change this weekly or monthly or yearly because it's editable! Pretty cool huh?!?!?!
Not Consumed Homeschool Portfolio
~Attendance Record: a great way to keep track of what days you went on a field trip, when you took holiday time off or Co-op time. Always fun to look back on and great at a glance "what did we do April 3rd" type thing.

It's simple too, all the months are across the top and there is a column going down with numbers 1-31 for the days of the month. It's separated by quarters.

Field Trip Evaluation Form: a neat way to document your field trips. Your child can write what they learned, what the purpose was, there's space to draw a picture and rate how they liked the field trip (or didn't like, lol). It's a great way to get feedback from your child.

~Educational Snapshot: I love this page. It's going to sound so simple but is a wonderful way to keep track of what you used over the year. You can type in your child's name and school year.

There are ten boxes (plenty) to record what you are using for each subject. For instance I can make one box for history and write what we are using and what it is covering.

There is also a verse in the corner of the page: Proverbs 24:3-6

Not Consumed Homeschool Portfolio
~Homeschool Calendar is a year at a glance with mini calendars July-June and another page with August-July. When you purchase your Homeschool Portfolio Pack you get free lifetime updates meaning every year you'll get a new set of the Calendar pages.

~Assessment Graph: this can be used for those subjects that you correct for us one is math. At the bottom of the page there is space for the name of the assessment. Going up the page are numbers 5, 10, 15, 20, 15, and so forth through 100. If your child scores an 85 he/she can fill in the graph grid from 5-85. Everyday your child can see how he's improving. I'm using a graph per subject. I think this page will be a lot more fun for the younger students.

OR you can keep track and record their 'grade'. I think it would be great for the kids especially younger ones to keep track.

~My Goals:  this is where you can record your personal, spiritual, health, and homeschool goals AND your child's too. I think it's soooo important for children to have goals. Throughout the year have your child look at the goal page to see if he's staying the 'course' :) 

There is another My Goals page and this one is broken down in quarters (quarters 1-4).

~Cover Page: your child can decorate this page. There is space to write the Grade & Year.

~Calendar Pages:  from August 2016 to July 2016. Every year you'll receive updated calendar pages.
Not Consumed Homeschool Portfolio
Daily pages your child will use:
  • Weekly Checklist
  • Morning Checklist (for younger kiddos)
  • Reading Record (print as many as you need)
  • Assessment Graphs (unless you prefer to keep track of this then add it to your Records binder)
For your records:
  • Attendance Record (if you want your child to keep track to add one to his binder as well)
  • Homeschool Calendar
  • Educational Snapshot (this is where you will record all the subject and books/curriculum used)
  • All About Me Profile
  • Goal Worksheet
Subjects:
  • Assessment Graphs (if you are having your child keep track put this in his/her binder). Have the child put one for each subject in his binder.
  • Reading Records: I thought it would be neat to have one for each subject but of course you can use it however it works best in your homeschool.
    I was kinda thinking of having for example one for history another for read alouds. The child will have one for history and record all the audio books and books that he reads on the "History" Reading Record, just a thought. I'm still pondering =)
To see how Kim the author puts her portfolio together please visit her website (scroll to the bottom of the page).



Check out Kim"s latest product: Organize My Homeschool ~five in depths modules covering everything from setting a vision, establishing schedules, to making excellent use of your homeschool space!
click the banner to find out more =)


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