This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 10th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Charlotte Mason approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Friday, December 7, 2018

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan ~ a TOS review

If you are looking for a great new devotional in time for Christmas or the New Year I have a fantastic one to tell you about today! As the mother of 5 daughters, I was thrilled to receive Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan. When I think of Bibles I immediately think of Zondervan, because both of my main Bibles are published by this well-known Christian company.


This is a gorgeous hardcover book filled with 365 inspiring stories of girls and women in the Bible from the NIV translation. You will read about people such as Ruth, Esther, and Mary as their stories will encourage you in your faith and give you an abundance of confidence to tackle your day. Each devotion is set up the same way each day. There is a main scripture written in maroon followed by a brief summary of the bible story and practical application for your life. I also appreciate that there is journaling space upon each page where you can write down your thoughts.


The pages within this sturdy book are not numbered with a date so you can pick up and start at any time of the year. Inside you will find over 370 pages worth of devotions that focus on relationships, bravery, inner beauty, love, and chasing your dreams. The pages are thick and have the same floral theme down the half inch margin. The print is not entirely too small either and it is a nice typeface that makes it easy to read. A handy ribbon bookmark is also in the book so that you may mark your place.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

The title of this devotional says it is for young women, but I was really excited to share this devotion with my newly turned 12-year old. Many of the messages are relevant to any woman, young or old. To use this with Montana, each day I set about to read the devotion before her so that we could have a discussion after she had done her reading.
Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

Typically, we would discuss the daily devotion on the way to cheer practice since we had a 30 minute drive. This scenario worked especially well for both of us but I think I would like to order my own copy so we don’t have to share. There were many heartfelt and thought-provoking conversations between her and I and her sisters as they chimed in with their opinions.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women
As I was reading ahead I found many of the devotions to be perfect for me and what I was dealing with day-to-day. Like on day 18, when it speaks of being overwhelmed and drowning. I was there and have been at that point many times over the last few months. This particular devotion called upon me to remember that even when I feel as if I am drowning, that God is our ark and our safe refuge from the floods. It’s simple little reminders like this that I am grateful to be able to have this book to share with my daughters.
Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}
I love this devotion! In fact, I have already ordered my three older girls copies of this book and the other title Zondervan sells in the series for their stack of books at Christmas. This devotional book would be the perfect gift for any woman, young or old, on your Christmas list this year. Simple little devotions like these will make anyone’s day go smoother after spending time in the Word. Check out this book for yourself and also be sure to read my CrewMates thoughts by clicking the banner below.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}

Company ~ Zondervan 
Format ~ Hardcover, ISBN #978-0-310-76277-5 
 Price ~ $15.99 
 Ages ~ women

Zondervan

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines from Lisa Tanner Writing ~ a TOS review

This is my last review of the 2018 year and its a good one! I don’t know about you, but I am a busy mom. Most of us moms are. I start my days early and end them as early as I possibly can, because I am tired by 8pm. While I do not work outside of the house, I am busy running our household and homeschooling my children in the process. Today I want to share with you a fabulous resource for work-at-home moms: Balancing Diapers and Deadlines from Lisa Tanner Writing.

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}

Homeschooling is work. It takes effort and organization. So, while I don’t physically step outside of the walls of my house to “work”, I do consider homeschooling my daily job. Thats why I was excited to get to work through this new course from Lisa Tanner, a fellow CrewMate. She wrote this course to help busy moms balance our household responsibilities with while working from home.

This course has 30 lessons that are broken down into 8 smaller bite-sized units:

 • Welcome to Balancing Diapers and Deadlines
 • Building Your Foundation with the Basics
 • Minimize Your Decisions
 • Minimize Your Decisions: The Annual Meal Plan
 • Sustainable Growth
 • Growing a Business with Your Kids Around
 • Boost Your Productivity
 • Closing Thoughts

Each unit is full of tips and ideas to help you manage your home while growing your business or work opportunities. Wishing each lesson there can be worksheets and action steps to help you reach the goals set out in the lesson. The lessons are easy to read and not long at all. In fact, some units can be completed in one sitting.

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines

One section that I found especially helpful was on meal prep. Every single day, when I pick up my girls from a long day of training at the gym, they ask the dreaded three words that make me cringe…”What’s for dinner”? I struggle to come up with fast, yet healthy meals to feed my growing athletes.

It’s daunting sometimes, but they have got to eat so that means I need to carve out the time to cook. This section helped me realize that I can just have the kids pick out their favorite meals and then I can make sure they are balanced and healthy. This unit has a download of meal plans that I loved! I printed it out and used it as a guideline for our family as well as taking one weekend to sit down and make a list of seven of each child’s favorite foods to eat for dinner. When we were looking a little skimpy on the vegetables, I added them in too. I have since made a rotation of the kids favorite meals and which of those meals my older children can help cook. Because I realize I can’t do it all.

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}

Overall, I am especially happy to have had a chance to work through Lisa Tanner Writing Balancing Diapers and Deadlines course. I still have a few units left to complete but I feel it provides work at home mom productivity tips that are helpful to everyday moms just trying to get through the day. So be sure to check it out even if you don't have babies in diapers, there is something for all! Check out what my CrewMates thought of this course by clicking the banner below.

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}

Company ~ Lisa Tanner Writing
 Format ~ text-based online course 
 Price ~ $50.00
 Ages ~ for Mom’s
Lisa Tanner Writing
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© 2008 - 2018 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 
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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wordless Wednesday




© 2008 - 2018 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Math-Whizz ~ a TOS review

Math! It can strike fear within a person like nobody’s business, whether it be on the account of the parent or the student. Many people struggle or don’t feel as confident with teaching different levels of math so It’s nice to have a helping hand. You get just that with the Math-Whizz from Whizz Education. Using this online homeschool math program it is like having a private math tutor working with my daughters on their math skills.

Math Whizz
Getting started is quite simple. First, to ensure that your student is placed into the proper level, the program requires the student to take a placement test. The series of assessments will help target your child's math age. The assessment is long but it is thorough.


Once you get through the assessment the child can get into their dashboard where they can decorate the room however they want. I love that is theme based and with holidays you get different things. For example, a pumpkin just showed up one day in October when the girls logged in.

Math-Whizz {Whizz Education Reviews}
Ideally, to get the most from the program your child should be logging on and using the program at least 30 minutes a week. There is a tracking bar on the dashboard so that the child can see how much time they have spent weekly. We have been using Math-Whizz  from Whizz Education to our supplement our regular math curriculum.


With this I was able to identify and address the learning gaps in my 6th grader, Montana, and 3rd grader, McKenzie, math skills. I love that they were each given a math age so I can really see where they are. I will say I was initially disappointed with each girls “math age” because it was lower than what I expected. McKenzie, who is 9, has always excelled in math. Numbers and number sense comes easy for her. Montana, my 12 year-old, on the other hand does well at math but she has to work at it. However, I think it is right on target for Montana and maybe a little skewed for McKenzie. I kept my thoughts to myself and just pressed on with where they both were at. 


This program has brought out the competitiveness within my girls. One day they Were on the program unbeknownst to me for over an hour racing to get a snake. McKenzie ended up winning the snake first but let me tell you it was intense. Overall, I feel this is a complete and thorough math program that rivals other computer based programs.


I am pleased with the instruction that both Montana and McKenzie have had access to as we fill in any learning gaps. I also love that this is a portable program. We start up traveling for gymnastics competitions and the girls will each be able to access the program on their iPads while we are away from home. Especially since my van has wifi capability, learning will definitely be on the go!


Be sure to check out what my 29 other Crewmates thought of the Math-Whizz program by clicking the banner below.

Math-Whizz {Whizz Education Reviews}

Company ~ Whizz Education
Product ~ Math-Whizz
Format ~ online
Price ~ $12./mo, additional children $9./mo; $124./yr, additional children $90./yr
Ages ~ elementary and up

Math Whizz


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© 2008 - 2018 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.    
http://astablebeginning.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Wordless Wednesday




© 2008 - 2018 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wordless Wednesday



© 2008 - 2018 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.