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.

Friday, March 28, 2014

beauty captured {48/365}


Level 8 Regional's bound ~ Good luck girls!!! 


Strength Stack 52 ~ a fun way to get physically fit

I try to model physically fitness for the girls ss2everyday. Everything from eating properly with correct portion sizes, drinking plenty of water, to being physically fit. While, I am not able to be physically fit at this moment because of little Micah who is busy growing inside my belly I can still help my girls be active each day.



When I was approached by Sergeant Michael Volkin asking me to review his new game, Strength Stack 52, I jumped at the chance. I am always looking for ways to keep my girls who are not in sports physically fit I thought this new “game” would be a great fit for our family. We received one set of the Strength Stack 52 deck of cards.


Strength Stack 52  is the brainchild of military fitness expert, Sergeant Michael Volkin. This completely portable deck of cards pack a big punch. With many full body workout combinations you can keep these cards in your pocket or tuck them in your purse or gym bag and challenge your friends and family to a fun and challenging workout. The best part is that you no additional equipment is needed. Yes, you read that right, just you and the cards and you get an awesome workout.


Strength Stack 52 also features something called nano-sport periodization. What?! Yes, that’s what I said too at first but it makes perfect sense, so let me explain it a bit. Many studies have shown that several small workouts during the day, as opposed to one long one, provide more energy and increase more muscle. With nano-sport periodization is the power of challenge that comes out in you when you play sports with friends and family. The challenge of the game stimulates your mind to push your body just a little bit further than you normally would. I liken it to the thrill of competition.


Strength Stack 52 combined together with nano-sport periodization, will help you:

~ increase muscle strength

~ strengthen and stabilize your core

~ lower body fat

~ increase energy levels

~ increase attention span

~ increase work performance

~ increase in cardiovascular fitness

~ save money on gym membership

~ improve your physique

~ maximize muscle confusion, which prevents plateaus

~ participate in fun, exciting, and competitive workouts to play with your friends and family



Each card features:

~ features an exercise with a helpful silhouette of the exercise to be performed.

~ a through description of how to perform the exercise including a suggested number of repetitions is included too. 

~ color coded muscle grouping:

blue: cardio

red: core

pink: back

yellow: legs

orange: arms

green: chest

~ skill level classifications in the bottom right hand corner. {B= Beginner, I= Intermediate, and A=Advanced}

~ scan the QR code with your smartphone app to pull up a video of the exercise being performed.

~ numbered cards  from 1 to 51 for playing games and categorizing the difficulty of the exercises included. 

So, you are probably thinking that this deck of cards is going to cost you a lot of money for everything you get, right? Wrong! Nope! For just $16.95 plus $4.95 shipping in the USA you can have these in your hands in no time. Shipping to Canada and Mexico is just $9.95 and  just $18.95 for all other countries. Plus, if you are not completely satisfied Michael offers a 100% money back guarantee.

Like I said earlier, since I am not able to participate in exercise at this time I used these cards as a game with my girls. The cards have a recommended age of 16+ but with some modification I was able to use these cards with all my girls but mostly concentrating on Marie and Madison. To play we just picked a card and challenged each other to do the exercise for the required number of repetitions, kind of like playing the popular game of HORSE in basketball. Instead of keeping score with HORSE we used STRENGTH as our acronym and  kept going until one person could no longer do the exercise on the card.


Overall, the girls and I really enjoyed this card set. I enjoyed from the sidelines and can’t wait to be able to use the cards to get back in shape after Micah is born. We would recommend this card set to anyone looking to get physically fit without the use of heavy, expensive equipment or costly gym membership fees. Be sure and download a FREE 6-card sample of Strength Stack 52 for yourself to see if this would work for your family. Also be sure and download the 4 week Turn and Burn Fitness Routine and get the maximum impact with these cards.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

beauty captured {47/365}


first softball game, a double & an RBI…Go Montana!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

beauty captured {46/365}

bc46 first tennis match


{almost} Wordless Wednesday

beam Collage 3 FLOOR Collage

Finally getting these pictures posted from Mikayla’s Lv.8 State meet. 

Vault ~ 8.750 {9th}

Bars ~ 8.975 {13th)

Beam ~ 9.525 {4th}

Floor ~ 9.550 {5th}

AA ~ 36.800 {7th/14}

*qualified for Lv.8 Regionals held in Doylestown PA March 29/30th.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

beauty captured {43/365}


Happy 17th Birthday Marie ~ make a wish!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

beauty captured {42/365}


Madison was inducted into the National Exchange Club this week and is currently the youngest member nationwide.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mango Language ~ a TOS review

Mango Languages Review

The requirement of at least two or three years of a  modern foreign language for college admissions has not changed since I graduated high school many years ago.  Being a homeschooler there are several options to choose from to meet this requirement and I am pleased to share with you today one of those programs from Mango Languages called Mango Homeschool Edition.

Mango Languages Review

Mango Homeschool Edition offers online language courses in 60 different languages. Mango Language has been around in the public library sector, businesses and schools for over 7 years. Now they are branching out and providing foreign language access to the homeschool community. We received full year subscription of the beta version to all of the languages for up to five people per household. One of the best features is that each individual student can study more than one language at a time. The possibilities are endless!

Mango Languages Review

To get started, I set up separate accounts for my three older girls, Marie (17), Madison (13), and Mikayla (11). Also included was a parent account to track individual progress for the girls. The program is geared for students aged 6 through adult and offers several different levels of coursework. Setting up the program was as simple as signing in and the program works on either PC or Mac computers in any browsing program.

Mango Languages Review

Currently the homeschool edition offers:

Over 60 different languages
Progress Assessments
Built-in journals, discussions and wikis
Collaborative learning spaces
eNote messaging /chat rooms
Access to embedded/downloadable content
Support from other community members
Calendars to schedule meetings or study groups

Over the next several months, the program will be introducing several more exciting features like:

Enhanced Tracking and Progress Monitoring - including seat time (for students and parents)
Goals and Personal Lesson Plans (both stand-alone and tied into Mango courses)
Resume and Portfolio Builder

Mango Languages Review

Introductory pricing for the Homeschool Edition is as follows: 

1 subscription is $18/month or $125/year total 
2 subscriptions is $28/month or $175 /year total           
3 subscriptions is $38/month or $225/year total                   
4 subscriptions is $48/month or $275/year total               
5 subscriptions is $58/month or $325/year total

Just to note, that anything over 6 subscriptions is a special group rate that will depend on the number in the group. You can also sign up for a 14 day free trial to test out the program.

Mango Languages Review

When the vendor interest form came out for this product I initially wanted to use this just for Madison who is in 7th grade. However, one night Marie told me she wanted to learn French,{Insert mini panic for mom} then I remembered the Mango subscription that was opening up. I decided to enroll Mikayla into the Latin language so that she could get more practice hearing and speaking the language.

Since I primarily concentrated on Madison I focused on her using the program for at least three days a week in addition to the Spanish book program she is completing. The first initial lessons were review as expected and she was able go along with ease.

Marie decided after watching a few lessons of French that she didn’t really want to learn the language. No fault of the program at all, its just she has had over 5 years of Spanish language. The Latin for Mikayla was not at all what I expected but I was pleased with it and the ability for her to hear the language spoken by someone else.

Overall, we were pleased with Mango Homeschool Edition and will continue to use it for the remainder of our subscription for Madison’s Spanish. Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of this program by clicking the banner below and reading some of their reviews. And don’t forget to check out the free trial to see if this would be a good fit for your homeschool and children.

 Click to read Crew Reviews

Company ~ Mango Languages

Product ~ Mango Homeschool Edition

Price ~

1 subscription is $18/month or $125/year total 
2 subscriptions is $28/month or $175 /year total                     
3 subscriptions is $38/month or $225/year total                     
4 subscriptions is $48/month or $275/year total                 
5 subscriptions is $58/month or $325/year total

Ages ~ 6 - adult

Platform ~ PC or MAC, any browser

Mango Languages Review

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Mikayla’s Lv 8 State videos

Here are the videos from Mikayla's Level 8 State competition yesterday. She qualified to Lv 8 Regionals, JrA with a 36.800 AA score to compete for the state of Delaware in two short weeks. She also placed 4th on vault, 5th on floor and 7th All-Around out of 14 girls in the 11 year old age group. The Lt and I are so proud of her and the hard work she has put in this season. She had a rough patch earlier in the season, however,this qualification has lit the fire in her once again and she is determined and ready to compete. Love you Trin!




beauty captured {41/365}


my favorite picture from the meet.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Egglo Entertainment ~ a TOS review

Egglo ReviewOne of my favorite holidays is just around the corner! Do you know what it is? Let me give you a hint…It has nothing to do with the color green  or about being lucky. Rather, it is about a man who died on a cross for me and for you.Yes, you guessed it! It’s Easter!!!

Easter is one of my very favorite holiday celebrations. Not all the chocolate bunnies and candies and baskets filled with toys, but the real meaning of Easter. You know the one where we share the Good News and the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. This year instead of doing just regular eggs we were given the chance to review Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs from Egglo Entertainment.

Egglo Review

For this review we were blessed to receive the following items:

Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs ~ 12 durable and high quality plastic eggs in 4 colors, blue, green, yellow, and pink. Half of the eggs have a cross design on the outside while the other half are plain. Retails for $11.99 but on sale for $9.99.

The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure ~ Join Hardy, Anastasia, Pascal and Zeke the dog in this 40 page, fully illustrated book as they discover a glowing mystery in the attic. This fun story captures the fun of the egg hunt with all the focus on put on Jesus. Retails for $12.99 but on sale for $9.99.

The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure (audio book) ~ a 30 minute audio book that compliments the book.  Perfect for kids who like audio books while following along with the book. A chimes dings when it is time to turn the page. Great for car trips or to listen to at bedtime. Retails for $2.99.

Egglo Treasures Scripture Scrolls ~ Each pack of 12 Scripture Scrolls are designed to keep the focus on Jesus by creating a memorable connection between the egg hunt activity and the message of Jesus. Retails for $4.29 a pack.

The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure Program Guide ~ a 60 page step-by-step downloadable curriculum guide that helps families or churches put on a glow-in-the-dark Easter event. The guide includes how-to instructions, visual aides, activity ideas, decoration ideas, theme snack ideas, printable discussion cards, invitations, decorations, coloring activity pages and more. Retails for $14.99 as a one time download. Download comes in two parts.

Egglo Review

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

Egglo Review
This program is recommended for children ages 4-13 years. I used this program with 4 of my girls, Madison (13), Mikayla (11), Montana (7), and McKenzie (4). I was able to read the book to them aloud over the course of several days in one week. I should mention that the book and the curriculum guide are free from church doctrine. Plain and simple it just shares the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the four Gospels.
egglo1 egglo2 egglo3 egglo4 egglo5

The best part of the program for my little ones was doing the egg hunt. McKenzie had so much fun that I often found her playing with the eggs throughout the day.  The eggs must be charged under light to activate the glow in the dark effects. For greatest glow it is recommended that you allow the eggs to absorb light for at least 30-40 minutes. Once charged the eggs will glow for at least an hour.

Egglo Review

We give this 5 stars and definitely think you should check out Egglo Entertainment  and all the company has to offer. What a fun and exciting way to share the Gospel. Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of this product by clicking the banner below.

 Click to read Crew Reviews

Company ~ Egglo Entertainment

Products ~ Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs
The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure (book)

The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure (book audio download)
Egglo Treasures Scripture Scrolls
The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure Program Guide

Price ~ prices range from $14.99 - $2.49

Ages ~ 4 –13


Egglo Review
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