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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

beauty captured {84/365}



Friday, June 27, 2014

beauty captured {82/365}


The Pebble Pond

Random 5 on Friday ~ June 27th

It’s Friday and that means it is time for some random thoughts. This is my first Random 5 on Friday post hosted by Miranda over at The Pebble Pond. So here I go…


1. We drove to Michigan this pass weekend and dropped off Marie to her pre-college scholarship program. It was bittersweet leaving her there.          {I didn’t cry though}


2. Traveling with a 1 month old is an adventure in and of itself. It took us 15 hours, 44 minutes, 48 seconds, and 5 milliseconds to drive home on Monday according to Madison’s iPod timer.


{we had to stop 30 minutes from our house, this little guy was done sitting in his carseat}.

3. McKenzie has been playing Wheel of Fortune on the Wii lately. She loves to spin the wheel and guess letters. I make sure she says the letter before pressing it so that I know she is actually recognizing the letter correctly.


4. Like most other homeschooling moms I am in the midst of planning our 6th year of school. That involves lots of praying and re-reading books like The Well Trained Mind.


5. I am not a huge fan of grocery shopping, but since we have to eat I am trying to get back into being frugal. I seem to have lost my frugal mojo while I was pregnant. Do you have any tips besides using coupons?

The Pebble Pond

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

Micah is 1 month

Major 1st month misc 082
Time sure does have a way of flying by when you are having fun snuggling and loving on this sweet baby boy
 girls and major
It feels just like yesterday that I was in the hospital waiting to hear if the Dr’s were going to send me home for bed rest or take him out early at 36 weeks.  So glad the latter was chosen because we were all  ready to meet our little guy.
Its been a great month at home getting to know Micah and his emerging personality. He is still in the eat, poop, sleep, repeat, with bouts of awakeness.  Overall he is simply a joy and great addition to our family.
“For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. “So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.
~ 1 Samuel 1:27-28
 Major's 1st month colage
1 month Stats:
weight: 8 lbs 9.5 oz
height: 21 1/4”
head circumference:14 1/4”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

beauty captured {78/365}

fathers day 2014

Happy Father’s Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

We Choose Virtues: Parenting Cards ~ a TOS review

 We Choose Virtues Review
Honesty, patience, forgiveness, contentment, kindness, and diligence girls and Majorare all valuable character traits that I value and want to instill in my children. Like the majority of parents I know, the Lt. and I want our son and daughters to become young women and men of character. To help us in the lifelong teaching process we were blessed with a set of Parenting Cards to review from We Choose Virtues.
We Choose Virtues is a curriculum that inspires character in kids and was created by mom and teacher, Heather McMillan. Our family was blessed to receive a physical set of the Parenting Cards in NIrV version, along with the PDF downloads of the following:
Kids of VirtueVille Coloring Book 
Family Character Assessment 
Teacher's Handbook
Butterfly Awards for Kids We Choose Virtues Review
Made from full color cardstock, the cards are 8.5″ x 5.5″ and best suited for early childhood through elementary school, roughly 3-11 year olds. The Parenting Cards retail for $38.49 and the Downloadable Bundle costs $7.99. But you are in luck, take 20% off anything in the We Choose Virtues store from now until August by using the Promo Code BTS20. This include any kit so that your family can start the school year with Virtues!
We Choose Virtues focuses on the twelve main character traits with catchy names for each character, like Stop Sign Madeline (I am Self-Controlled).
The Parenting Cards include the following 12 virtue cards:
  • I am Attentive
  • I am Content
  • I am Diligent
  • I am Forgiving
  • I am Gentle
  • I am Honest
  • I am Helpful
  • I am Kind
  • I am Obedient
  • I am Patient
  • I am Perseverant
  • I am Self-Controlled
We Choose Virtues Review
The front of each card contains the name of the virtue, a catchy phrase to memorize, a Bible verse, antonyms of the virtue, and the featured “Virtue Kid”.
We Choose Virtues Review
The backside of the card includes a short story featuring the “Virtue Kid”, a virtue user challenge, “What to Say After ‘I’m sorry’”, teaching tips for discussions or activities, and a quote about the virtue.
We Choose Virtues has everything you need to teach about positive character qualities including posters, clue cards, coloring books, assessments,teachers manuals, classroom kits, homeschool kits, family kits, and more! Products are available in both secular and Christian programs, either with or without scripture references.
Once we had taken the assessment to see where everyone stood, it was easy for me to see that we needed to start with the  I am Diligent  virtue. To use the parenting cards I hung the character trait we were working on one of our daily boards. That way it was visible for everyone to see, especially when someone needed a reminder. I really like how the coloring pages tie in to the trait.
We wholeheartedly give We Choose Virtues two thumbs up!  I love everything about the program and what it does to help me teach character to my daughters young women and soon to my young man. If you are searching for a character building program give We Choose Virtues a try, I think…I know you will be extremely happy with the choice.
Click the banner below to read what my Crewmates thought of these cards and the other products up for review.

Click to read Crew Reviews
Product ~ Parenting Cards
Price ~ The Parenting Cards are $38.49 and the Downloadable Bundle is $7.99. From now until August you can use the coupon code BTS20 on anything in the We Choose Virtues store
Ages ~ 3-11 year olds
We Choose Virtues Review

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 ~ a TOS review

Learning Wrap-Ups ReviewOver the last several weeks the girls have been working with an exciting online program called from Learning Wrap ups.
Online games are a great extension to our homeschool day so I was really excited when we were selected to use this product. LearningPalette is the online recreation for the LearningPalette boards. Recommended for students in grades K-5th the palettes are self answering  with 6 different levels for math and 4 different levels for reading.
We received a full Online Family Subscription for all levels of the Reading/Math Palettes for a full year for up to 5 users. This subscription normally retails for $59.95. With over 35 math levels and 20 different reading titles for grades K-5, your student will have access to almost 8,000 questions to answer!
Setting up your account and logging on to the program is quick and easy. Once you are in the program simply click on the area you want to focus on, Math or Reading. Then select the level you would like, basic – level 5 for Math and basic – level 3 for Reading.
Once you have selected your topic the game board is brought up on screen. Simply follow the directions on the right hand side and match the colored disks to the correct answer. When you have finished the entire disk, check your answer and see if you got them right. There is also a spot for the parents to check the progress for each student you have signed up.
I used this program with Mikayla (11), Montana (7), and  McKenzie (4) with great success. They all enjoyed logging on to the program whether it be on the iPad, laptop or desktop computer. I primarily used this program as a supplementary to our current math program 3-4 times a week. We were able to use it more during tennis season when my two youngest would bring the iPad to the matches and play.
Overall, the girls and I have really enjoyed this program. My only complaint is that when I have the girls all logged in on separate computers/devices the program does not recognize their progress individually. For some reason it only recorded data in the progress report for McKenzie. Now, this could be user error on my part but that is my only gripe with the program. Will this keep us from using the program? Nope! We enjoy this program so much and the girls like it and ask to “play”. I am so impressed with this program that I am ordering some other products from Learning Wrap ups for our summer studies including Learning Wrap up Basic Math Intro Kit,10 Days to Multiplication Mastery Wrap up and Book Combo , and 10 Steps to Addition Mastery Wrap up and Book Combo .
Learning Wrap ups has been quite generous and is offering readers of this blog 20% off of their products. Just use the code "HOMESCHOOL" to receive 20% off your order (use the same code at for 20% off the online program).
We give this program two thumbs up and definitely think you should check this program out for yourself. Be sure to click the banner below and check out what my Crewmates thought of this program or the other products up for review.
Click to read Crew Reviews
Price ~ $59.95 for up to 5 students
Ages ~ ideal for grades K-5th
Learning Wrap-Ups Review

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Micah is 3 weeks

3 weeks

Time is flying by fast, my baby boy is already 3 weeks old.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Kinder Cottage Publishing: Peter Rabbit at the Farm, Peter Rabbit’s Birthday ~ a TOS review

Today I am excited to share with you a really Kinder Cottage Reviewgreat set of classic books from Kinder Cottage Publishing. As a book loving family we were so happy to receive two books from Kinder Cottage Publishing, Peter Rabbit at the Farm and Peter Rabbit's Birthday for review.
Kinder Cottage Publishing was started just a few short years ago in 2012 by Howard and Ann Closs. The company bases their focus on providing materials that are characteristic of western civilization such as history, literature, Christianity, and culture. However, Kinder Cottage Publishing’s main goal is to develop and provide products that help parents train and instruct young children.
Kinder Cottage Review
Members of the Crew were able to choose two, 5×7 hardback picture books from the timeless classic Peter Rabbit series which includes the following ten titles:
Each of these books was originally written by        Duff Graham for the Henry Altemus company over 90 yrs ago. The Kinder Cottage Publishing company has edited the books to modernize the text. For example, the word velocipede was originally used to mean a bicycle.
When we were deciding which two titles we wanted for our collection I let McKenzie (4) help me pick since I knew I would be reading them to her the most and since the books are recommended for children aged 3-9. She was very happy when her two choices came in the mail.
Let me tell you a little bit about each book that retails for $4.00 each. Or you can purchase the entire 10 book set for just $30.00.
Kinder Cottage Review
Peter Rabbit at the Farm is a fun story as Peter finds himself full of mischief as he runs away to Mr. McGregor’s farm. Along the way, Peter Rabbit saves Little Goosie Poosie and her family while solving the mystery of the missing water in the pond. Peter Rabbit’s day at the farm involves many different adventures but he always seems to makes it home safe and sound.
Kinder Cottage Review
Peter Rabbit's Birthday tells of the time that Peter Rabbit nearly misses his own birthday celebration. After spending the day at Mr. McGregor’s farm inviting all his friends and getting into mischief and losing track of time he nearly misses his own party. A helpful little boy on his bicycle, Bobby, gives Peter a ride home in his basket after he notices that Peter has been crying. Peter quickly corrects him saying that he was not crying, rather it was “raining in his eyes”.
peter rabbit
We have really enjoyed reading these two books and will be adding the other 8 stories to our collection this month. I have read these two books to McKenzie over 100 times, seriously! She now knows the stories by heart from the pictures and you can often find her reading them to her babies and stuffed animals. Now that baby Micah is here, he has been listening to the stories too.
We have enjoyed these timeless classic stories of Peter Rabbit and do not have any trouble spending the money to add more to our home library. Also, Kinder Cottage Publishing has offered a special bonus just for readers of Schoolhouse Review Crew blogs, head over to the website and enter the code 'TOS' for 20% off your purchase. Be sure to check out what my Crewmate thought of these two books and the other 8 up for review by clicking the banner below.
Click to read Crew Reviews
Price ~ $4.00 each or $30.00 for the set of 10
Ages ~  geared towards 3-9 year olds

Kinder Cottage Review