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Week 2 of the 30-Day Minimalism Game πŸ™Œ

Week 2 of the 30-Day Minimalism Game Challenge. 
Wow! Week 2 ~ I'm half way through πŸ’ͺ I forgot to mention last week that I am not including things that I had already put in boxes to give away. At the time I started this I already had three boxes of books/stuff.

As I was collecting things to give away, donate, recycle, or throw out I found because of this challenge I was willing to get rid of things a bit easier. Sounds strange but some of the clothing items I had not wanted to get rid of before I can now let go of. This challenge is having me rethink why I am keeping my stuff.

Day 8~ Some pretty strange stuff I keep πŸ˜‚ These are items that came with a bag, clothing, etc.that I keep thinking I'll find a use for. I really don't like tossing things. Like the plastic bag, my thoughts are I can use it sometime in the future. The cardboard πŸ˜€ I know, it's just that it's a really nice cardboardπŸ™ˆ
And the one curtain holder, 😁 

Day 9 ~ the bag I got at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. I used it for my coloring then when we moved to our one bathroom house I used it to put my make-up in. My thought was I'd put everything in it and take it from my room to the bathroom.
Instead it ended up in the bathroom closet with all the stuff you see. Old make-up, a piece of a towel that I was hanging on too because it's a good rag πŸ˜„ old lip balm, the plastic container was inside the bag keeping all my junk organized 😁

Day 10~ another plastic bag that could hold LEGOs or something. Empty Meyer's Soap container that I just might need, old hair ties, desiccant thing, glasses cleaning towel thing, church service notes from a few years ago, contact case, and party bag that is too old looking to give a gift in it.


Day 11~ A skirt, a small purse, out dated sunscreen, another plastic bag, a Duck Dynasty beardπŸ˜„, some gloves that I don't need.

Day 12~ A box, yup, I'm a box collector. Crayons & markers, books, and an eyeglasses case, there is actually a pair of glasses in there too but I am counting it as one item.

Day 13~ the Pampers wipe box believe me when I say it was at one time really hard to get rid of it. Its come with me in the last two moves because it's useful, you can put things in it BUT with this challenge ~ I don't know what it is but it's made it easier to get rid of it.
Old deodorant that made my pits itch, crayons, empty EO bottle, old foundation make-up, little bag that I thought was cute, necklace I don't wear, Lilla Rose hair clip that is too big now, and some leaves that I just had to have two years ago (but never used).

Day 14~ to shirts that I haven't worn in months but again didn't want to get rid of until this challenge, another container (I think it was a Q-tip container), empty EO bottle, eye glass cleaner that I don't use, hair product, more Lilla Rose clips that don't fit anymore (I know wear small or extra small😱😱), make-up sponges that I no longer use, and a reindeer kit.

77 items gone! Wahoo πŸ™Œ for a total of 105 item 😲

Week 1 of the 30-Day Minimalism Game or Challenge

I am so excited to have started the 30 Day Minimalism Game/Challenge. I don't think I'll ever be a #minimalist as I love my Pampered Chef items, I love my Corningware collection, and there are some items that for now I don't want to get rid of. 
My PC, Corningware, and cards from my hubby, children, family, and friends still bring me joy. What I do want to accomplish is getting rid of the clutter, the containers, the baskets, I want to get rid of all dust bunnies, I want to be able to sweep and mop under my bed (because those dust bunnies are pretty gross!). 

I have been working on decluttering for 2 years now (although you probably can't tell πŸ˜†). I believe it's a journey and when you are ready to get rid of certain things that use to bring you joy it's the right time. For instance almost all the books in my Summer Mama Goals are gone 😱

Day 1 (6/22/20) of the 30-Day Minimalism Challenge was pretty easy. It was a container that I was saving because you never know when you will need it 😁 Although it was an easy item to get rid of it was a bit hard too. I have a container saving problem.

Day 2
Two books. I love books but I actually have two of the 21 Days of Faith and the Henderbell I will give to my sister MaryEllen. The postcard thing goes with the Henderbell so I am not counting it as an item.

Day 3
A homeschool phonogram chart that I had since Ethan was in 3rd grade 😱 I totally love that chart. It was from Saxon Language Arts. Item #2 is a book that my kids haven't read. My four oldest have either read the older version of Pilgrims Progress or listened to an audio book or watched the animation of it. 
The 3rd item iw a shirt that I bought at Walmart when I was in California in 2018. My Grandma was sick so I flew out to Cali, and stayed for a few months to be with her. 
The sleeves on the shirt although pretty was not very practical when I came home and had to do dishes daily. We don't have a dishwasher and I prefer to do the dishes. The sleeves kept getting wet plus they were itchy πŸ˜†
#minsgame

Day 4
I have way too many leggings so you all may see more of those go πŸ˜‚ The Whisper Man was a good book but I don't see me reading it again. The Writing Road to Reading was a hard one to let go. I love that program and liked having an older edition of it but I won't be using it. The last item was a pretty box that I was saving just in case I needed it for a gift. It was from a Once Upon a Book Box. 

#minsgame

Day 5
An old tote and some black paper art pads. I had good intentions of using the art paper but I think after a year and them not being used I should let them find a new home.


Day 6
First item a pencil box. If I need one I can buy one. They are like a $1. Item #2 baby changing pad. I like to keep one on hand for babysitting but no babies around here anymore. Item #3 a rogue coaster. #4 a red bag that I have had for 10yrs and haven't used it. #4 First Aid kit I bought for the boys but they want me to hold onto it so in the goodbye box. #5 my coat. I really like it but it's black and every little lint or dog hair can be seen. I've had it for three or four years.

#minsgame

Day 7
I am a container saver. I think I'll need a container for some homemade cleaner. I have a hard time letting them go but all of these can be replaced really easy if I need something similar in the future. The Sta-Flo nobody is using so out it goes. The little Dollar Store organizer I have saved for a few years and it stays empty, so yup, it needs to go too. 

#minsgame

Total of 28 items gone!
Wow, I finished my first week. This week wasn't too hard but I can imagine the weeks ahead becoming more of a challenge. If I complete the challenge I will say goodbye to 465 items. Is that crazy or what?!?!

What have you donated, recycled, given away, or trashed lately?


I'm Back!!!

Its been so long with writing a blog post. Blogger has changed so much in that time (6 months 😱) that I didn't know where the "write-a-post" icon was πŸ˜‚.

I haven't had much going on. We are still homeschooling. Two kiddos to go. Can you believe it 😲? I am still in shock.

I am hoping to get back to blogging. I want to blog some of Lance's school. He started IEW writing two weeks ago, and a new science course. Both from the Homeschool Review Crew. 

Today I started the 30-Day Minimalism Challenge and thought I would blog about it. It will keep me motivated.

By the time the challenge is done I will have given, donated, recycled, or trashed 465 items 😱 that is a lot of stuff. At first I was going to blog daily about it but I think instead I'll blog weekly. 

Now that the kiddos are older, I don't have a lot of photos anymore. Most of my photos on my phone are Pampered Chef stuff, food, and more Pampered Chef 😁

Here is a photo of a Tupperware find and something that won't be in the 30-Day Minimalism Challenge because it reminds me of my Grandma Tanny who passed away almost 2 years ago and of my beautiful mom who passed almost 22 years ago. I miss them both and when I use my Tupperware creamer thing it reminds me of them.


I'm still shocked with how much the blogger dashboard has changed.

#minsgame #backtoblogging #30daychallenge

God's Mail {Review}

I was given the opportunity through the Homeschool Review Crew to review a book that is meant to encourage and is full of scripture and poems of comfort. If you follow my blog or social media you will know my family is going through a pretty hard time right now, so God's Mail Volume 3 came at a good time.



What I received was a physical softcover copy of God's Mail Volume 3 from God's Mail

Rod Hardin is the author of God's Mail: Volume 3 ~ he has been writing poems since 1983. His writings give encouragement, comfort, instruction, and correction (for example~ angels are not babies or loved ones who have passed on)

Ron is a believer who uses his gift of writing to help others walk through the difficult time which he himself has experienced.

Before coming to Christ Ron was a high school drop out, gang member, and abused alcohol and drugs. He was also in and out of jail!

At age 28 he started his own ministry and at about that time is when he started writing poems for the Lord. 

I love how the book is set up with Scripture on the left and the poem on the right.

Scripture is taken from different translations:
KJV = King James Version
NKJV = New King James Version
MSG = The Message Bible
TLB = Living Bible
GW = God's Word Translation
AMP = Amplified Bible
GNT = The Good News Bible


You could use God's Mail several ways: read for fifteen minutes a day and go through several of the pages (I mean page spreads, counting the scripture and poem as one). Or you can read a page a day, again meaning both pages in a sitting.

What I did was before bed I'd read God's Mail both the Scriptures and the poem. It was a great way to end the day because after a busy day of homeschooling, tending the home, and working part-time, it was a good thing to read God's Mail.

If you are a doodler, there is enough space on the pages to add cross-references, draw little squiggles, hearts, and flowers, and even write your own prayer or poem along the edges. I think gel pens would be nice for this.




Visit God's Mail website to see God's Mail Volume 1 and Volume 2 as well. 


From the Introduction of the book:
The book covers a lot of ground, dealing with common and sensitive issues from many different angles. At times it is pastoral, prophetic, evangelistic, philosophical, but most of all spiritually nourishing and just plain thought-provoking.


To read more reviews about God's Mail please click on the graphic below!

God's Mail: Volume 3 {God's Mail Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Elephant Learning Math Academy {Review}

One subject with my kiddos that I really want them to master is math.   I am not a mathy person myself so I'm terrified to teach it. My husband is great at math but has been really busy putting in extra hours ar work.

When Elephant Learning Math Academy came up as one of the Homeschool Review Crew vendors I thought I'd give it a try. We received a 12-month subscription to Elephant Learning Math Academy. This program is geared toward ages 2-16. My kiddo that is using it is 15.

Elephant Learning Math covers counting through Algebra but not like high school Algebra 1 & 2. It is more suited for the older child who struggles with math and needs some help.

The program claims to raise your child's math skills by one year in three months using the program. The child needs to use the program three times a week at least 10 minutes a day (30 minutes per week).


The whole sign up process was easy. Once your child's account is set up they can pick an avatar (and they are so adorable!!!).



The assessment at the beginning of the program is great because the student really can't tell that they are being "tested" and the program just eases into the program. It really does streamline into the lessons.


You can also print worksheets for your child.


Here is a screenshot showing what has been completed and if the student passed or failed.


Elephant Learning (my kiddos and I shortened the name) goes beyond only playing online. I found out that Ethan never memorized his multiplication of 8x7 and 8x9 so Elephant Learning gave us a few ideas with how to practice his multiplication.



Here are some screenshots of the learning games. The one below shows where Lance is at.





The cute little guy pops up at the end (this is just one of many).



Our Thoughts:
While I really see the benefits of Elephant Learning Math my kids were not too crazy about it. They didn't care for the voices but you can turn the sound off and read it if necessary. Maybe because they were on the higher end of the age limit for this program (ages 15 and 16).

With one of my son's he did mention that the colors were too bright for him so I had to dim the computer screen for him a bit.

What I did like was seeing that they did understand math. They got a lot of the answers correct. What I didn't understand though was their elephant age was always younger than their real age ~even though there were getting most of the answers correct.


What I absolutely loved was the parent dashboard because you can see what your child has completed. My kiddos didn't want me to share their dashboard otherwise I'd have put a screenshot.

Final Thoughts! All-in-all I am very thankful that we were allowed to review Elephant Learning Math because there are a few gaps my boys have and now we can address them. It was great to see that my boys do understand math concepts. This is a part of homeschooling that I am nervous about.

Please click on the graphic below to read more Elephant Learning Math Reviews by the Homeschool Review Crew!



Elephant Learning Math Academy Subscription {Elephant Learning Math Academy Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Calvert Homeschool Online {Review}

Calvert Homeschool is a well known homeschool program. In fact we used Calvert for a few years back when the kiddos were little. It was a year when I really needed someone else to schedule everything for me. I had was exhausted with two toddlers and a baby.

We received six-month access to the Family Plan of Calvert Homeschool Online. The Family Plan gives you access to all grade levels and courses which is at least 45! Courses include Language Arts, History & Geography, Math, and Science.



We used the History/Geography and Science courses. I love that the courses are numbered and do not say Grade 5 or Grade 11 etc. This is great if you are backtracking like we are.

We are using the courses to fill in some gaps in these two subjects. I might add the Language Arts in later. I don't want to overwhelm him with too much as we do need to finish our current LA.

The Calvert Homeschool Online has a free Diagnostic Test so you can place your child exactly where they need to start. This is great if you are planning to use all the subjects!

Calvert Homeschool Online has it all, scheduling, automatic grading, quizzes, test, and a parent dashboard where you can assign subjects and check what your child has completed.



You can literally take school anywhere with you and not have to worry about forgetting a math or science book because it's all online.

The lessons even have it where you can have the lesson read to the child. It's kind of like a robotish voice ~like the downloadable ones.

Below is a screenshot of how the courses are set up. The student clicks on the course, below it's Science Safety.

 Once the child clicks on Science Safety lesson a menu of lessons or what Calvert shows as Problems.


When the child clicks on Problem 1 (or lesson 1), there is a complete lesson. This on Safety has four "pages".



At the end was a recap and quiz


At the bottom of the lessons are questions to be answered. In this case, it's an essay to be written.

Below shows the full window of what is required of the student when writing the essay (the screenshot is taken from the same lesson shown above). You might need to click on it to see it better, sorry that it's showing up so small. 

If you were not able to read the instructions on the graphic here is what it says:

Part 1. Include important facts found in your research. Includes the answers to questions 1-4 for each of the occupations you choose.
Part 2. Include information a visual representation of the data and answer to questions 1-6.
Submission Requirements: 
The student should submit a presentation created with a slideshow or Presentation Program of their choice. The presentation should include important facts obtained through research, references, images, data, graphs, and answers to the reflections questions. Upload your presentation to the box below.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here are a few screenshots from the World Geography Course.

This lesson had a short video.


Here are a few screenshots from one of the grade school spelling lessons. The child can select a bee.



We didn't use the spelling but I thought the bees were so cute. We did play around with it for the purpose of this review.

Our Thoughts:

The set-up for me was a little bit bumpy. I had two accounts which I'm sure was the problem. I had one under my regular email that I set up before the review. When I was picked for this review I set up another one under my email that I use for the Review Crew and I don't know if they were "colliding" and getting confused but I kept losing our lessons. Anyway, long story short ~ it was eventually fixed.

Calvert has the best customer service. One of their representatives called me to help me through the set-up problem. She also walked me through a few things as well, and made sure I understood the program. She even followed up a few weeks earlier.

One of the features I liked and so did my son was the audible part. He is a reluctant reader so he followed along. Plus with science and history/geography there are names and places that are hard to pronounce so we really appreciated that we had the choice of having it pronounced.

Calvert does a wonderful job with the student set-up. I like how my son can hop on the computer and just go down the lessons. Right now he is using two subjects but I'd like him to use more.

He's not a textbook guy meaning the physical textbooks are big and overwhelming for him. With Calvert Homeschool Online he doesn't see the thickness of a book because it's all online and the lessons are "broken" down for him.

I admit it does take a bit of learning to navigate the site and we are not completing all the assignments. We pick and choose but I love that WE can pick and choose. It's our homeschool and we don't let the curriculum rule us. We make it work for us. 

Final thoughts! I really like Calvert Homeschool. My son, well, it's "school" for him. My kiddo would always rather be playing with Legos or playing a computer game with his brothers rather than do anything school-related (including reading books, sigh). 

Be sure to click on the graphic below to read more reviews from my Crew Mates!
Calvert Homeschool Online {Calvert Homeschool Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer