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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

beauty captured {63/365}


33 weeks, 4 days


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

beauty captured {62/365}

bc 62

Happy Birthday to me!


Brinkman Adventures ~ TOS review

Brinkman Adventures Review
Are you up for an adventure?  If so then you are in for a treat with the new season of The Brinkman Adventures. Join in as you  become immersed into an adrenaline filled journey to the bottom of Random Lake with a group of modern day missionaries with The Brinkman Adventures Season 2: Episodes 13-24.
Brinkman Adventures Review

The Brinkman Adventures will take your family on a heart-pounding, exciting adventures all the while showing God’s love for everyone on earth. We received Season 2 of The Brinkman Adventures which contains 12 action packed episodes on 4 CD’s.  That’s over 5 hours of  audio drama/entertainment.

Episodes include:

1. The Mystery Ring

2. Blue Hat & T-Shirt Bible

3. How Big is Your God, part 1

4. How Big is Your God, part 2

5. Mexico by Bus

6. Treehouse Academy

7. Pirates of Mayan Island

8. Sapphire Slaves, part 1

9. Sapphire Slaves, part 2

10. Hadi’s Choice

11. Castle of Secrets

12. On the Run


We have spent a lot of time in our van over the past few months driving to and from different gymnastics meets. While listening to the popular kids satellite radio is fun, one does quickly tire of hearing the same songs looping over and over. I was so excited to be able to pop this audio drama cd into the CD player for something different. We have listened to many audio books before but nothing quite as exciting as The Brinkman Adventures. From the very beginning the van was completely immersed in the story, well maybe not the Lt as he was driving, but the rest of us girls were.

The Brinkman’s are not just your normal everyday missionaries. They are a modern day, large family whose powerful stories come together through the wild and crazy adventures they take to share God’s word. Their escapades will inspire the old and young and strengthen your faith to love and follow Jesus with all your might.

Everyone in our family has thoroughly enjoyed this CD many times over and we are in the process of purchasing Season 1 so we can start the adventure from the beginning.  While you do not have to start with Season 1, we just can not wait to hear more since Season 3 is not yet available. Our family favorite story from this CD would have to be episode # 2, Blue Hat & T-shirt Bible. This story was so amazing how God helped to provide a Bible for a Chinese woman when they are forbidden in the country. The cleverness of the disguised Bible makes the story all the more interesting. I think you should stop by the website and check out the free audio clip for episode # 9, The Provider to get a taste of the Brinkman’s for yourself. I know you will be thoroughly impressed and want to know more!

The Brinkman Adventures are available to purchase by season on CD for $25.00 or on MP3 download for $17.00. The prices listed are suggested donations but trust me they are worth every cent and more! Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought by clicking the banner below.

 Click to read Crew Reviews

Company ~ The Brinkman Adventures

Product ~ The Brinkman Adventures Season 2: Episodes 13-24

Price ~ CD for $25.00 or MP3 download for $17.00

Ages ~ Families of all ages

 Brinkman Adventures Review

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Monday, April 28, 2014

beauty captured {61/365}


$2.00 garage sale find ~ Mr. Potato head set ~ has them captivated for hours.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Memorizing Philippians in 28 weeks: Home School Adventure Co. ~ a TOS review

Home School Adventure Co.

Hiding God’s word within our hearts is really important. That way in times of need or crisis you can call upon those verses and know that God is with you. Home School Adventure Co.  offers an easy and pleasurable way to memorize the entire book of Philippians with their Philippians in 28 Weeks study.

Home School Adventure Co. produces and designs resources to equip and inspire parents to raise and educate children who are loving, compassionate, strong, and wise. Six weeks ago we were blessed to receive the PDF eBook of  Phillippians in 28 weeks study to use within our homeschool.

Philippians in 28 Weeks

It is easier to share God’s word with others if it is etched within your heart. With just 5 simple steps you and your family will be well on there way to memorizing the entire book of Phillippians in just 28 weeks when you:

Read ~ the book everyday. Whether you read the Bible or from your memory cards the mind automatically starts to retain and remember what you have read.

Record ~ your thoughts in the included journal. Inside the journal you will find space to for copywork of the verses along with space to write out or discuss the questions listed under the Reflections section. At the end of the week complete the summary as you have allowed the verses to penetrate your heart, mind, and soul.

Repeat ~ the verses many times throughout the day. If you have a few minutes of quite during the day bring out your cards and say the verses aloud or to yourself.

Review ~ at the end of the week be sure to recite the verses you have been working on up to that point from memory.

Recite ~ all the verses you have memorized thus far at the beginning of each week with the included recitation charts. Every few weeks you can take a review week and have someone grade you on your progress.

Philippians in 28 Weeks is geared towards children ages 9- 11 years when used as a read aloud or during family Bible time. Ages 12 and up can use this with parental guidance, and  high school students are able to do this course on their own. While there is a grading option set up in the program, it is not necessary to grade as your main goal for this program is to “Love Him with all your mind” and  be accountable in your studies.

This study is economically priced at just $28.95 for a printed copy of the study. A digital PDF  download is also available for just $14.95. Either format is available in KJV or ESV. Also available are memory cards for just $9.95.

Home School Adventure Co.

When the product arrived in our email box I downloaded it and immediately printed off the Chapter One sheets, the memory cards and log, making enough copies for my three older daughters and myself. Chapter One takes six weeks to complete and while my oldest daughter, Marie (17) and I found it easy to read through the entire book of Philippians each day my younger two daughters, Madison (13) and Mikayla (11) struggled to read the entire book to themselves each day. After about three days I ended up modifying the way we completed the study buy just reading the verses for the week we were on aloud to them. With each week I built upon our reading so that they were still getting exposed to the words and helping them to remember the verses.

I have truly enjoyed this Bible study from Home School Adventure Co. and even though the review period for this product has come to an end I plan on continuing to use this in our daily Bible devotions so that we may hide this entire book to our memory. Some of my girls did not appreciate all the copywork that was involved in this study even though we incorporate copywork into our daily schooling for other subjects. As a “box checker” I really liked the log and how it was set up to keep us on track with our studies. The reflection questions were a great tool too, as it allowed us to dig a little deeper into God’s word to really take heart to what the message is He is trying to get across.

If you are looking for a memorization study for your own personal use or as a family devotion I wholeheartedly recommend Philippians in 28 Weeks from the Home School Adventure Co.. Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of this program and also the other items being review, Philosophy Adventure, Mere Christianity Journal, and The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions by clicking on the banner below. Click to read Crew Reviews

Company ~ Home School Adventure Co.

Product ~ Philippians in 28 Weeks (ESV)

Price ~ Available in KJV and ESV print $28.95  ebook $14.95 memory cards alone $9.95

Ages ~ For read aloud and discussion as a family: ages 9-11. For ages 12 and up, also great for family discussion and/or parental/teacher guidance. High schoolers can do this on their own.

Home School Adventure Co.

Other products being reviewed by the TOS Crew:
Philosophy Adventure
Mere Christianity Journal
The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What are you curious about? Curiosity Quest ~ a TOS review

Curiosity Quest Review

Do you have curious kids like I do? My younger girls are especially curious about all things. My 4yr old McKenzie is in the stage of questioning everything and wondering why. When we were offered the chance to review two videos from Curiosity Quest I jumped at the chance.

Curiosity Quest Review

We have done a lot of road trips this year because of Mikayla's gymnastic meets and I wanted something more for the girls to watch instead of the same old Disney DVDs. I was so pleased when we were sent DVD Combo Pack - Produce and DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea to review.

Curiosity Quest Review

Each episode is hosted by Joel Greene as he gets to the bottom of what kids want to know about a myriad of topics. During each quest to find the answers to well thought out questions, Joel takes the audience behind the scenes for an out of this world, hands-on adventure. Along the way he interviews a bunch of kids to find out what they already know about the particular topic. Some of the answers are hilarious!

 Every great journey begins with just one person’s curiosity! ~ Joel Greene

Curiosity Quest Review

The DVD Combo Pack - Produce lets us learn how three different foods, Cranberries, Mushrooms, and Oranges go from farm to the store. In each episode we learn just what it takes to get the food item from the farm to the store for you to purchase. All three episodes were quite interesting and we learned a lot about each.

Curiosity Quest Review

DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea focuses on three different swimming animals, the Alaskan salmon, sea turtles, and penguins. My girls loved all of these episodes but the penguins had to be the all time favorite from this DVD.

Curiosity Quest Review

Each of these combo packs retails for $24.95 and includes 3 episodes of Curiosity Quest. The individual shows are about 30 minutes each in length and are geared toward 7-14 year olds, however, my 4 year old really enjoyed the episode too. Some of the shows air locally on PBS so be sure to check your listings to see if they air in your area.

Curiosity Quest Review

We watched both of these DVD combo packs as we traveled to PA for the level 8 Regional's meet. The older girls were a bit hesitant at first but pretty soon I heard nothing but silence from the back seats. Everyone was engrossed into the DVD about oranges. Once the oranges clip was over the girls even fussed about which selection to watch next. Who knew there was so much to learn about mushrooms and cranberries.

Curiosity Quest Review

All in all I would give these DVDs 5 stars for there educational and entertainment value. I think they are a great supplementary tool for learning in your home. There is definitely a DVD video to spark everyone's curiosity and it's always fun to learn new things about everyday tasks and or objects. My curiosity has definitely been peaked and I intend to invest in more DVDs in the near future. Be sure to check out there special HS pricing as well as a monthly billing options.

Curiosity Quest Review

To read what my Crewmates thought of these DVD’s be sure to click the banner below!

Click to read Crew Reviews

Company ~ Curiosity Quest

Product ~ DVD Combo Pack – Produce and DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea

Price ~ Combo DVD Packs $24.95

Ages ~ 7-14 year olds

Curiosity Quest Review




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beauty captured {54/365}


W is for wig


Monday, April 14, 2014

beauty captured {53/365} Marie got accepted


I am so happy to say that my oldest, Marie, was accepted into the college program at Calvin College she applied for earlier this year! I am so excited for her and proud of her hard work ethic.  She will spend a month in Grand Rapids, Michigan getting a taste of college life.

Way to go Marie!!!


Sunday, April 13, 2014