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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!).

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 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!!!

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.

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:

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!

(These are no longer available)

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 from Amazon (at the time of this post being written)- 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. I removed the paypal automatic payment button because I only have two of the Spelling Packs left. Please e-mail me at homeschooling6(at)hotmail(dot)com (minus the brackets and such) and I will send you an invoice. Thank you!

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 email me 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.