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 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mud jumping

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I captured McKenzie jumping in a mud puddle after a rain shower. She had such a great time jumping and splashing in the puddle…until her Croc fell off :)

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Love this girl!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Madison’s square garden

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Madison has taken on the responsibility of being the resident gardener. This season we have only had luck growing lettuce, herbs and pumpkins much to our delight. But she is off to a great start!

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So far we have 6 pumpkins growing!

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We are trying to control and get rid of those pesky beetle bugs so they don’t destroy our crop.

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Every morning Madison goes outside before breakfast and looks for bugs and waters the garden and the apple tree. She even made her own special “bug off” stick :)

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Good job Madison! I can’t wait until Fall to see the fruits of your labor.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Baker Publishing Group: The Adventures of Lilly Lapp ~ a TOS review

 1 When I was growing up I remember going to my Grandpa’s house in upstate New York for the summers. Specifically, I remember one day driving through rural Pennsylvania and seeing an Amish buggy. From that day on I was hooked on finding out info on the Amish culture. I think even at one point I told my family that I wanted to be Amish :) When Baker Publishing Group offered two of there books in The Adventures of Lily Lapp Series, I was so happy.

We were blessed to receive book one, Life with Lilly and book two, A New Home for Lilly for this review from Baker Publishing Group.

“We publish high-quality writings that represent historic Christianity and serve the diverse interests and concerns of evangelical readers”. ~ Baker Publishing Group

Written by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher we get a close up look into the life of five year old Lilly and her daily adventures growing up Amish in Upstate New York.

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Life with Lilly ~

“Every day is a new adventure!

On a small Amish farm in upstate New York, young Lily Lapp has plenty to do and plenty of people to love. But changes are coming—including a new baby brother, a new teacher at school, and new ways of looking at the world. Lily’s growing up Amish, and there’s always a lot to learn—if only Lily can stay out of trouble!” ~ website

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A New Home for Lilly ~

“New town, new house, new friends—and always lots of fun!

Lily Lapp is moving with her family to Pennsylvania to join a new Amish community. In this small town, Lily has to get used to a new school, new friends, and Aaron Yoder, the most annoying boy in the world! But some changes are good, like exploring an attic full of adventure and getting a new baby brother. Still Lily wonders, why can’t God bring her just one sister?” ~ website

Initially I intended these books to be a read aloud. However, Mikayla literally took off with these books. She read them every chance she got. In the van, in her room at bedtime. These books are an easy yet challenging read for Mikayla who is 10. I loved the pricing as they are each just $12.99 a piece for quality literature. I hope to read these aloud to Montana sometime this year and Mikayla is super excited that the next book will be released in July 2013.

If you are looking for a wholesome new series for your daughter to get into, I wholeheartedly recommend The Adventures of Lilly Lapp series. Mikayla and I give these books 2 thumbs up! Be sure to read what my Crewmates thought of these books by clicking the banner below.



Company ~ Baker Publishing Group

Product ~ Life with Lily & A New Home for Lily

Price ~ $12.99 each

Ages ~ 8 to 12 year olds

Format ~ paperback or eBook

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

I am beat ~ and a new truck

         10   knocked out after Tumble Bunnies & lunch (on her face)

This week we started our first official week of summer schedule at the gym. WHEW! I am BEAT! It’s not the waking up early and being out the door by 730 A.M., but the constant running around I did in between. 

2This week I drove Mikayla to physical therapy 3 times. It’s 50 minute drive, each way! Wednesday, she had her first two-a-day, morning practice, break and PT, then evening practice. A total of 9 hours of exercise that day alone,YIKES!  She took a nap while we waited for the second session to start. While her elbow is still not feeling 100% better she is definitely getting stronger. This past week she was able to press up to 5 1/2 press handstands, whohoo! However, her Physical Therapist, Will thinks that her growth plate on the elbow is inflamed again. She is now banned from doing back handsprings on the beam this week. Monday he is going to try a “patch Band-Aid” medicine to see if we can get the inflammation under control.


We also started back up with our summer school schedule. It is a “light” schedule including Math, Grammar, and review products. The girls are also working on completing their individual summer reading projects. So far so good!


Monday night Marie was 9officially inducted into our local Exchange Club. We were introduced to this wonderful serving club from a sweet lady, Ms. Margaret, from church. So far, Marie has earned 5 hours of community service by participating in serving activities including a monthly Bingo at one of the local retirement centers. She has a great time and the elderly folks there just love her :)


On Thursday morning I drove out to the country and met a new friend, Candice, at her house. She only lives 15 minutes from me but it is so peaceful and beautiful in the country. Candice helped walk me through Tapestry of Grace and lifted the “fog” associated with the planning. I left her house enthused and ready to dive into TOG in August. Have I ever told you that I want to live in the country?

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The Lt. has been on “leave” from work all week. He has been searching for weeks for a new vehicle. On Tuesday he decided that he was going to purchase a truck after he found the right one. That just happened to be on Thursday early afternoon. We got Marie headed out the door and on her way to practice then set out to pick up his truck from the dealer. He is now the proud owner of a Dodge Ram 1500. I am impressed by his negotiating skills as he walked away with the truck 20% below MSRP including taxes and licensing. As you can imagine the dealer was not too happy about that. Happy {early} anniversary gift. :)

Saturday morning I had a mild back spasm, if back spasms can be considered mild. I went about my day and by evening I paid for it. Back spasms are not new for me but it has been years (I am talking early 20’s) since I have had one. I smell like a medicine cabinet as I have been having the Lt. rub Extra Strength BenGay on.  I have definitely slowed down this weekend and will into next week. If I have not seen relief by mid week I will head to the doctors.


Saturday morning we also took the girls to see Monster’s University. It was McKenzie’s second ever time going to the theater. She did well. I think the movie was a little too long for her and in some parts it did not hold her attention. She occupied herself during one of those moments by kicking off her crocs and saying in a not so quite whisper, “Mom, my feet are NAKED!” Yes, fun times as the surrounding rows got a chuckle!


Next week I am going to be sharing a review and giveaway geared towards the Kindergarten crowd. Be sure to check back on Tuesday and enter for a chance to win. All in all, it’s been a great week at our house. Hope you had a great week too!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Remarkable Ronald Reagan ~ a review

 The Remarkable Ronald Reagan 

Ronald Reagan was a remarkable man who made a contribution to this country of ours even before he was President. Our family is honored to be apart of TLC’s blog tour for Susan Allen’s new book The Remarkable Ronald Reagan.

Susan AllenSusan, a former First Lady of Virginia, guides children through the life of Ronald Wilson Reagan, aka “Dutch”. After reading this beautifully illustrated book you will have a glimpse into Reagan's life from boyhood through President.



The hardback book is about 20 pages long with a timeline, sample letters, and inspirational quotes included at the end.  You will see all the different jobs he had from cowboy to athlete to movie star. After reading this book you find that Ronald Reagan had a great sense of humor. Written for children in grades 3-4 but it holds the attention of younger and older children too.


My favorite quote is this:

“There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit”. ~ Ronald Reagan

This is a great book and we have all thoroughly enjoyed getting an in-depth glance at the life of Ronald Reagan, right from the start. Retailing for $16.95, be sure to check out the book for yourselves, it is a great book for your shelves.


tlc tour host

Monday, June 17, 2013

Memoria Press: Geography I ~ a TOS review

girls bath redo Fathers Day 091As a Classical homeschooling family we are quite familiar with Memoria Press and the whole array of products they offer. So imagine my delight when the Geography I bundle was offered to members of the Crew. Okay, I admit was so excited I did another one of my happy dances, you know the ones where the girls look at me like I am a bit off my rocker over curriculum.

Founded in 1994 by Cheryl Lowe, Memoria Press is a family-run publishing company that strives to provide easy to use classical curriculum for private and homeschool families. Written from a Christian worldview the company helps to provide three things: simplicity, quality and affordability.

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We received the Geography I bundled set which retails for $48.00 and includes:

Geography I Text, 103 pages - $14.95

Geography I Workbook, 90 pages - $11.95

Geography I Teacher Guide, 90 pages - $12.95

United States Review Student, 25 pages - $5.00

United States Review Key, Quizzes, and Tests, 95 pages - $7.95

Individual items can be purchased separately for the prices listed above.

From the website:

"Geography of  the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe covers the area that constituted the ancient Roman Empire. Each region is explored in its historical context in “History’s Headlines,” as well as in the present in “Tour of Today.” Your student will learn countries and capitals of today and relate them to the ancient lands of the Greeks and Romans, deepening his understanding of both the past and the present." 

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Each country is introduced with a basic introduction and includes "Fast Facts". a one page summary is also included with a summary of sections on the history of the country and also the current information. Important facts and illustrations are also provided to help you on your study. The goal of this program is mastery of the locations on the map and not as an in-depth study of the region. 

Geography I Table of Contents

Geography I Text sample

Geography I Workbook sample

Quizzes and Tests are included in the Teacher Guide if you wish to test your child. The main goal of the Geography I course is for the student to master identification of each country on the map. It is recommended that the student study 2-3 countries per week.

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Also included in the Geography I bundle is The United States Supplement that focuses on learning the Sates and there Capitals. US States are learned by regions:

~ New England States

~ Mid-Atlantic States

~ Great Lake States

~ Southern States

~ Plain States

~ Rocky Mountain States

~ Southwestern States

~ Pacific States

"This study guide will help students retain the knowledge they gained in their study of States & Capitals by reviewing each region of the U.S. four times throughout the school year. This review takes very little time and makes a great companion to Geography I: The Middle East, North Africa, and Europe." ~ from website 

Student Workbook sample

Teacher’s Guide sample

With the 25 page Student Workbook your student will work through 4 sections.

1. Identify States by region on the map.

2. Match capitals of all 50 States by region.

3. Provide the name of each State based on the Capital and label the maps by region.

4. Identify State & Capitals from numbered locations on a blank map.

By the end of this comprehensive Geography study your child will have all of the countries of the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, essentially the Ancient Roman Empire, and the US States & Capitals memorized. Geared towards grades 4-8 this curriculum is also conveniently scheduled out for you in the 4th Grade Classical Core Curriculum Lesson Plans. If you wish to use this curriculum with more than one child you must purchase separate books for each child as the workbooks are not reproducible. However, Tests and quizzes from the Teachers Guide may be copied within your own family.

I used this Geography I bundle primarily with Mikayla. We currently own the Classical Core Curriculum Lesson Plans for the 4th grade so we basically just followed the schedule as our guide. Following the plans we completed Geography studies twice a week, normally on Tuesdays and Fridays for review. If we got behind we easily were able to adapt our lessons and add another day. While you do not have to purchase these Lesson Plans it does make it quite easy for a box checker like myself for planning.

Like everything else from Memoria Press we are overly pleased with this product and wholeheartedly recommend you taking a look at it. We currently use several products from this company in our daily homeschool lessons and will be adding several more with our upcoming school year. We are going to continue using this Geography curriculum into next school year and move onto Geography II in the future and also add Madison in on our study. Be sure to read my fellow CrewMates thoughts on the Geography I bundle and Prima Latina curriculum by clicking the banner below.


Company ~ Memoria Press

Product ~ Geography I

Price ~ $48.00 bundle or items are available individually (see above)

Ages ~ grades 4-8

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Disclaimer ~ I received a free copy of the ButtonGeography I bundle in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father’s Day 2013

girls bath redo Fathers Day 084We had a nice and quite Father’s Day this year. The Lt. had a blessed day and was showered in gifts from the girls and I.

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Happy Father’s Day!