This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 8th year of homeschooling using a Classical approach.

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



Friday, August 31, 2012

The Power of the Prophetic Blessing ~ a book review

John Hagee has a new book out called The Power of the Prophetic Blessing: An astonishing revelation for a new generation where he conveys the importance of BookLG-prophetic-blessingblessings in your life. He gives you insight on how to experience these blessings by learning to speak blessings over you and your family's lives by covering 8 prophetic blessings.

Humans have forever been searching for a guarantee of the good life --from Ponce de Leon's quest for the proverbial fountain of youth to our twenty-first century search for a mystical Shangri-La. But all to no avail!

That's because the supernatural something we seek is not a magical place or enchanted kiss that transforms the ugly frog into Prince Charming. The only supernatural ingredient that produces the good life became a reality thousands of years before Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem's manger. That supernatural something was introduced in the book of Genesis by God Almighty as He spoke and released the power of the Prophetic Blessing over the lives of Adam and Eve.

The power and permanence of the Prophetic Blessing has been clearly charted over the centuries in scriptures. The Jewish people have obeyed the principles and long received the benefits of the blessing;however, it's potential has been overlooked by most Christians for over 2,000 years.

This transforming supernatural blessing, when spoken by scriptural authority, has the power to sculpt your future! And as you'll discover from Pastor John Hagee in this incredibly encouraging book, the words of this blessing carry the power to revolutionize your life--and the lives of your children and grandchildren--for today, tomorrow, and forever, so that you may all experience spiritual, physical, emotional, and relational prosperity.

This was an eye opening book for me and yet I feel like I need a bit more time to study this book and application. Pastor John Hagee talks about our job as parents to pray blessings over our husbands/wives and children daily, and I get that! The Pastor states that if we live in total obedience to God's Word, follow His direction for our lives, we will be blessed. I was encouraged by this book as it has given me a lot to think about and to put into action.

Want to read this book for yourself? Enter to win a copy of the book by just leaving a comment below. This giveaway will end on Sept. 7th @ 12PM, book will be mailed to the winner by media mail.

Hardcover, ISBN 978-1-61795-077-3

Price: $22.99

304 pages

John-Hagee John Hagee is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, as well as Jerusalem Countdown, which itself has sold over 1 million copies. He is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a nondenominational evangelical church with more than 20,000 active members, as well as the founder and president of John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts his radio and television teachings throughout America and in 249 nations worldwide. Hagee is also the founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel, a grassroots national association with over one million members to date.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of The Power of the Prophetic Blessing from Worthy Publishing, in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ten Girls from History ~ a TOS review

PhotobucketWell, hello there! I have been on a mini blogging break because we have been enjoying the company of our Grandma and cousin, but today I wanted to share with you a fantastic eBook that we were able to review called, Ten Girls From History by Amy Puetz (pronounced Pitts). Amy  is a homeschool graduate who has an enduring love of history. She enjoys retelling the stories of people who had an impact on their generation.  Se founded her company Golden Prairie Press,and has been sharing her passion of history for a few years now. She also publishes a bimonthly e-Zine for ladies of all ages, called Heroines of the Past.

Prepare to befriend ten of the bravest girls of history! Whether facing a band of Indians with Madeleine; or saving lives at sea with Ida Lewis; or experiencing the battlefields of the Civil War with Clara Barton, you will be inspired by their faith, courage, and devotion.
Girls of all ages will enjoy meeting these ten remarkable girls from the past, and parents will appreciate the godly examples found in these pages. Both inspirational and entertaining, this book will bring history alive for your family.
Each chapter dramatizes the life and accomplishments of these ten girls:

Louisa May Alcott: Author of Little Women
Clara Barton: The Angel of the Battlefield
Molly Pitcher: The Brave Gunner of the Battle of Monmouth
Cofachiqui: An Indian Princess
Madeleine De Vercheres: The Heroine of Castle Dangerous
Dorothy Quincy: A Girl of the American Revolution
Ida Lewis: The Heroine of Lime Rock Lighthouse
Elizabeth Van Lew: The Girl who Risked all for the Union
Virginia Reed: Midnight Heroine of the Plains
Clara Morris: The Girl who Won Fame as an Actress

~ from the website

Our Thoughts:

Okay, I admit it, I had only heard of one of the ten girls listed above, Lousia May Alcott. I remember reading Little Women as a teen so it was nice to get an inside look at her life as a precursor to reading Little Women aloud to the girls. I especially liked how the book included a glossary, timeline, and pictures! It really helped to tie everything together visually. I really enjoyed this book and it is very inspiring to show my young daughters that you do not have to wait until you are grown up to make a difference in this world. 

My first aim in bringing the lives of these ten girls from history to the attention of the girls of today has been to inspire them to like deeds of patriotism and courage. Second only to that purpose is a desire to make young Americans realize as they read these true stories of achievement along such widely varying lines of work,
that history is more thrilling than fiction, and that if they will turn from these short sketches to the longer biographies from which the facts of these stories have been taken, they will find interesting and absorbing reading.
May the book accomplish its twofold object, and so justify its publication at this time of the testing of all true Americans.
Kate Dickinson Sweetser
August 1, 1917

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WOW, isn’t that awesome! You really should check out this book, I can not stress that enough. It was really great book and we recommend this wholeheartedly! Check out what my Crewmates thought about this book and the three other books reviewed by clicking the banner below.

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Company ~ Golden Prairie Press

Product ~ Ten Girls From History

Price ~ $25 Printed and MP3 Audio Book $15 eBook

Ages ~ school age and up

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DISCLAIMER: I received an eBook copy of Ten Girls from History from Golden Prairie Press, in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday McKenzie

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McKenzie is 3!!! Wow, these last three years have gone by so fast. My baby girl is growing up so fast and learning so much everyday. This will be a short post as we have a nasty storm moving through…at least it is not a Hurricane like the last two years. Enjoy some of the pictures and I will post more tomorrow.

 

F. McKenzie 3rd Birthday 130  F. McKenzie 3rd Birthday 091 F. McKenzie 3rd Birthday 289 F. McKenzie 3rd Birthday 331

She had a blessed day!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Christian Liberty Press ~ a TOS review

Christian Liberty Press has been around in the homeschooling community offering high quality products for quite some time. We have been blessed to use one of there products in the past and today I am going to tell you about a book we had the chance to review called, Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Maker .

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For this review we received an eBook copy of Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Maker written by Douglas Bond. In this story we follow the journey of two American teens, Drew and Annie Willis, who “while on vacation in England, are befriended by an elderly English gentlemen called Mr. Pipes. Through this relationship they learn about famous British hymn writers. They also learn about the value of traditional worship and praise”.(from website) Each chapter of the book features one famous British hymn writer into the children's larger story.

The eBook copy retails for $8.79 while the printed version costs $9.89. The suggested age range for this book is 7th-10th grades, however, I used this as a read aloud for the family with no problems.  Other available titles include:

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers
Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation
Mr. Pipes Comes to America  each priced at $9.89

The Accidental Voyage priced at $9.99.
Or the complete set of four books may be purchased for $38.99  * I should note that not all of the titles are available in eBook format, but they are all available as printed copies.

We especially enjoyed this first book in the series and look forward to adding the other titles to our collection. The storyline was easy to read and follow and it was interesting too! I personally would love to have an audio book version of this series. It would be great to have the music come alive and tie in with the story, but we had no problem searching the web to find hymnals either. I especially liked that each chapter included a page or two of sheet music to go along with the hymn.  We have a budding pianist so these will come in handy down the road.

Click on the banner and see what my Crewmates thought of this story below.

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Company ~ Christian Liberty Press

Product ~ Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Maker

Price ~ $8.79 eBook, $9.89 printed

Ages ~ suggested age 7th-10th, but could be read as a read aloud

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DISCLAIMER: I received an eBook copy of Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Maker from Christian Liberty Press, in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to School

Our first day of the 2012 – 2013 school year is underway. We had tears and just plain sleepiness, but Whew, we made it!

1st day of school 2012-2013 028  It was a soggy day in our neck of the woods so we took our first day picture on the couch in the family room. And look, even Mason joined us for the picture. ( you can only imagine how tough it was to get this shot, everyone looking at the camera).

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For breakfast I cooked the Homeschool Mom’s French Toast, a recipe that I found at Dawne’s from In Christ Alone Mom’s blog. I have never been a fantastic French toast maker, but this recipe was quick and easy and the girls really enjoyed it. We started school right on time at 730AM with our morning time which included Bible, recitations, read-aloud, and prayer.

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McKenzie who woke up at 600AM took a 3.5 hour nap a little after 800AM, in her favorite spot, under the table. She was knocked out! Things were moving really smoothly and lessons were going well until about 845AM, when this wave of sleepiness overcame me! I was literally falling asleep reading the History book to Mikayla. By 900AM, I called a timeout and told the girls I needed to take a quick cat nap, and I did just that. I gave them the option of taking a break for 1 hour or to continue going on with their lessons. Marie and Madison kept plugging away, while Mikayla and Montana took a break.  McKenzie was still out under the table :-)        Iphone pictures up to 8-21-2012 789  Iphone pictures up to 8-21-2012 798 Iphone pictures up to 8-21-2012 787Iphone pictures up to 8-21-2012 801By 10AM I was back in the saddle and raring to go. We were able to get everything on our schedules checked off for the day.  For this box checker, that made me a happy camper. So, with 1 day down and 179 more to go, here’s to many more days of learning!

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Vocabulary Spelling CITY ~ a TOS review

PhotobucketI was so excited to be chosen to review Vocabulary Spelling City a few weeks ago. As a game based online spelling and vocabulary program you have access to more than 25 print and online games to help your child learn there spelling words.

Vocaburlary Spelling City lets you add in your own spelling words or you can choose from a list of thousands of pre-made lists. Activities like handwriting sheets, alphabetical order, matching definitions, Word Scramble, HangMouse, Speedy Speller, and many more will keep your child not only entertained but spelling like a champ. Vocabulary Spelling City offers so much for you and your child to explore. Premium Memberships for homeschooling families are available for $29.99 a year and they can be used for up to 5 children and offer following benefits:

Individual Student Logins

Student assignments,
records for each student useful for IEPs & transcripts,
no paperwork saves time!

Premium Learning Activities

Engagement in learning

No Advertisements

No distractions

Grouping Students & Lists

Simplified differentiated instruction

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My younger two school-aged girls, Mikayla and Montana, will greatly benefit from this program. We have enjoyed using it so far and as we dive back into school I know it will be a staple to our day. We highly recommend Vocabulary Spelling City to any and all who want to help there children master there spelling list in a fun and engaging way.Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of Vocabulary Spelling City by clicking the banner below.

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Company / Product: Vocabulary Spelling City

Price: homeschool premium membership $29.99 a year or free access with limited capabilities.

Ages: Kindergarter and up

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DISCLAIMER: I received a premium 1 year homeschool subscription to Vocabulary Spelling City, in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vocab Videos ~ a TOS review

PhotobucketAs a part of the TOS review crew we were given a subscription to Vocab Videos.  In theory I love the idea of this program. Learning 500+ vocab words for standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT can be well, monotonous. Vocab Videos makes learning your vocabulary words interesting and fun.

    

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Vocab Videos is presented in a series of several ongoing segments parodied off shows like Lost or The Office. The segments are further broken down in 20 second video clips showcasing 20 vocabulary words. In addition to the videos there are quizzes to test your knowledge of the words, activity sheets, and the opportunity to make digital flashcards of the words for further study.Photobucket  

Marie has been using this program for a few weeks now for vocabulary study. While I enjoy the concept of the program, I should note that this is a secular program and I am not against using secular material in our schooling, I do try to monitor what we bring into our house and learning. Overall, I  love the concept and fantastic idea of Vocab Videos, I just wish that it was presented a little differently, or maybe with an option of a Christian version. My daughter did not “get” some of the satirical humor presented and at times she was left with a blank look after the video. If you can get past this, then I definitely think you should check out the free 30 day Educator review and see what you think for yourself. Because what did not quite “work” for our family may be just the thing you need in our own family, so give it a look.

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Normally a small Vocab Videos educator pricing for up to 20 students runs $79.99 a year and include all of the following features:

  • Teacher Dashboard to monitor student progress
  • Individual student accounts
  • Access to all videos and study materials
  • Digital Quizzes, Multi-media Flashcard Maker, Digital Worksheets

    Larger packages are available on the website if needed. Individual student subscriptions are available for 6 or 12 months and cost $24.99 and $39.99 respectively and include all of the following features:

  • Access to the entire video library of 500 Vocab Videos
  • Total access to an extensive suite of study resources and tools: digital quizzes, digital worksheets, multimedia flashcard maker, downloadable crossword puzzles

    Be sure to click on the link below to see what my fellow Crewmates thought of Vocab Videos.

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    Company/Product ~ Vocab Videos

    Price ~ small educator rate $79.99 for a year, individual student subscriptions available in 6 month ($24.99) or 12 month ($39.99) plans.

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    DISCLAIMER: I received a subscription to This Week in History from A Thomas Jefferson Education, in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

  • Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Wordless Wednesday

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    A Thomas Jefferson Education ~ a TOS review

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    Is your family really into History?  Well, today I am going to share with you my thoughts on A Thomas Jefferson Education. Are you familiar with this idea/company? If not, let me tell you a little bit about it.

    A Thomas Jefferson Education is based on the principle by which some of the greatest people in history were educated. TJ Ed seeks to help, you the parent, to experience the joy of helping your child to discover, develop, and polish his/her inner genius.

    TJEd gives you the “how” and the “why” to make the “what” more powerful, more memorable, more relevant to your children.                          ~from website

    A Thomas Jefferson Education encourages parents to apply the 7 keys of Teaching for a successful educational journey:

  • Classics, Not Textbooks
  • Mentors, Not Professors
  • Inspire, Not Require
  • Structure Time, Not Content
  • Simplicity, Not Complexity
  • Quality, Not Conformity
  • You, Not Them

    PhotobucketWe received a subscription to This Week in History which delivers a unit study each week to your email. Each weekly email focuses on the major events or people from each week in history, complete with pictures, links, and pertinent videos to help you educate your child. Click here for a sample week.

    This Week in History is a subscription based and costs just $9.95 a month.  With This Week in History, each day’s resources become an adventure in math, science, language skills, geography, current events, and the arts. The beauty is that all this information is tied to events in history. A great plus is that all of the content is searchable by date, topic or by key word, and is accessible at any time for subscribers.

    We have been really enjoying this resource over the summer and as we head back to school next week I will continue to dig a little bit deeper into the topics as they correlate with our studies. The level of detail in the emails and the information presented is amazing and really helps me be able to pick and choose what we want to cover. I would definitely recommend This Week in History to anyone. Check out what my Crewmates thought by clicking on the banner below.

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    Company ~ A Thomas Jefferson Education

    Product ~ This Week in History

    Price ~ $9.95 a month

    Ages ~ K and up

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    DISCLAIMER: I received a subscription to This Week in History from A Thomas Jefferson Education, in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

  • Monday, August 13, 2012

    Math Made Easy: Addition~ a TOS review

    Teaching your children to master there math facts should be easy, right? Well, now it can be. In just 6 short weeks your child can know their addition or multiplication facts without using their fingers.  How, you ask? With Math Made Easy.

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    Math Made Easy was created by Glenda Brown James as a simple workbook to help children master addition and multiplication facts. We were privileged to receive the Homeschool Addition Package for this review. The addition workbook is primarily for children in 1st-2nd grade, however, you can use it with Kindergarteners or children with special needs. I attempted to use this with Montana, but she is not quite ready yet. I know this will come in handy come mid-year of this school year once she is a bit older.

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    The 64 page addition workbook set sells for $24.95 and includes:

    • Lesson Plans
    • PreTest
    • Six Weeks of Daily Activity Sheets (labeled M-F)
    • Post Test
    • Games
    • Flash Cards

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    I would recommend this program for those looking to have there children master their addition facts. However, I would wait to start this until your child has a firm grasp of number sense. Montana is not at this point yet, but she will be soon and we will fully take advantage of this program. I should note that this is not an open and go program. Parent/teacher preparation is needed to cut out and laminate items. It is not extensive, but just thought I should mention that. Check out what my Crewmates thought of the addition program and others who reviewed the multiplication program by clicking on the banner below.

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    Company ~ Math Made Easy

    Product ~ Homeschool Addition Package

    Price ~ $24.95

    Ages ~1st-2nd graders

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    DISCLAIMER: I received the Homeschool Addition Package from Math Made Easy, in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    And the waiting begins…

      t3  

    t5We ended up traveling to Maryland to Hill’s Gymnastics Training Center this past weekend for Mikayla to test in the last TOPs (Talent Opportunity Program) testing for the USAG. Yes, this is the Hill’s that trained 3 Olympians including 3 time Olympian Dominique Dawes! Initially, I agonized over the decision of whether we should go since we had just traveled 2 1/2 hours the previous weekend for a testing and the fact that Mikayla would not do her back handspring on the balance beam.  By the end of the week Mikayla was confident enough to do the skill on the beams in the gym  without Coach Nici spotting her.t4

    However, come testing day she still did not do the back handspring without a spot from Coach Kyle, which equates to a zero skill. I am glad that we went, it was a great experience for Mikayla. She had to learn to battle fear and to move on and do your best at the next apparatus. She excelled on the bars and floor nearly maxing out the points for those skill areas. She also improved on her leg lifts, doing the max of 20 and having 13 count this week instead of last week having only 3 count.

    Now we wait to find out if her scores make the state qualifying cutoff and she earns herself a trip to the National Training Center in Texas. No matter what the end result is, the Lt. and I are so proud of her accomplishments she has made so far!

    Good job Mikayla!!!

    Lv. 5 STATE meet - Happy Bday 139