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.



Saturday, December 31, 2016

On the 7th Day of CHRISTmas...

On the 7th Day of CHRISTmas my true love sent to me, SEVEN Swans a Swimming: The Seven Spiritual Gifts {Corinthians 12:8-11} "The gifts of prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and compassion. Seven, is a perfect number in the Bible, it could also refer to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, and fear of the Lord {Romans 12:6-8}. It could also be the seven sacraments. The Swan symbolized the Holy Spirit. The chest has the flame of the spirit".
~ Jesse Tree Treasures

 {We dined on shrimp scampi because my original plan of Swans didn't pan out when my Amazon order failed to arrive. We made due and enjoyed the shrimp.}



©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

On the 6th Day of CHRISTmas...

On the 6th Day of CHRISTmas my true love sent to me, SIX GEESE A-Laying: The Six Days of Creation (as described in Genesis 1).
Day 1: The heavens, the earth, light and darkness.
Day 2: Heaven
Day 3: Dry land, the seas, and plants.
Day 4: The sun, the moon and the stars.
Day 5: Living creatures in the water and the birds in the air.
Day 6: Land animals and people.
Day 7: God "rested".
Notice that the Goose is painted in the same colors as the Partridge in the Pear Tree to show the eternal nature of the Trinity.

{Deviled eggs, yum!}




©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

On the 5th Day of CHRISTmas...

On the 5th Day of CHRISTmas my true love gave to me, FIVE Golden Rings: The Five Books of Moses ~ Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. "These books are also called the Torah or Pentateuch. The five rings are intertwined, an eternal link to God".

{5 golden Krispy Kreme donut rings}



©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

On the 4th Day of CHRISTmas...

On the 4th Day of CHRISTmas my true love gave to me, FOUR Calling Birds: The Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. "Each of these men had their own voice and personality in sharing Christ's message and sacrifice. They are depicted as four different birds. The cross is a combination of the Jerusalem Cross, showing how the disciples spread the word to the four corners of the earth and 'The Love of God Cross'".


{We had egg salad on little lettuce and chow mien noodle bird nests}





©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

On the 3rd Day of CHRISTmas...

On the 3rd Day of CHRISTmas my true love sent to me, THREE French Hens: Faith {fish}, Hope {butterfly}, and Love {heart}. "These are the three gifts of the Spirit that abide {1 Corinthians 13}. They are looking up to love, the one that remains in the end. Faith, Hope, and Love are called the Theological virtues".
~ Jesse Tree Treasures


{We had roasted rosemary and garlic chicken fryers.}


If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
 ~ 1 Corinthians 13


©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 


Monday, December 26, 2016

On the 2nd Day of CHRISTmas...

On the 2nd Day of CHRISTmas my true love gave to me... TWO Turtle Doves: Old and New Testaments. "The Bible is divided between the old and new testaments where Love springs forth. The Doves are symbols of the Holy Spirit, peace, and unity".

~ chocolate turtle candies ~






©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

On the 1st Day of CHRISTmas….


Merry Christmas to you and yours! 

Now that Advent season is over we welcome Christmastide and wait for the Epiphany, my family and I will celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas in an edible way. My children learned so much when we learned about the Plagues of Egypt earlier this year so I decided to add a food theme to the Twelve Days as well. 

The 12 Days of Christmas is not just a famous song about someone who receives gifts for 12 days from their true love. However, it was used in the early days when the church was persecuted to teach the children the love of Christ in a decoded song. As a time of celebration, the 12 Days of Christmas starts on Christmas Day and lasts until January 5th, also known as Twelfth Night.

So without further ado I hope you will follow along with us…



On the FIRST Day of CHRISTmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree (the birth of Jesus Christ). Tonight we enjoyed pears with whipped cream topping.



©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wordless Wednesday ~ T&A surgery






©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wordless Wednesday







©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Micah @ 2.5









©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Preparing our Hearts ~ Our Advent reading selections for 2016


It’s Advent season and we are loving every minute of it! I am a few days late in getting this posted but I love sitting down with the children each night and reading from our Jesse Tree Advent devotional. Today I want to share with you our reading list for the next 28 days of Advent.


This idea of reading children’s books is not my own but that of Jessica who blogs at Shower of Roses. She has even made homemade labels to put on the outside of the wrapping paper. I didn’t use ribbon this year but I do love the look of the solid brown kraft paper. The wrapped books are stored on our tiny bookcase next to our big tree this year.


Each night after reading from our Jesse Tree Devotional one child gets to unwrap the book and then I read it aloud. The same child then puts the Jesse Tree ornament onto our Advent tree in our front library.


Here are the 28 books that I have wrapped up for the 2016 Advent bookshelf. The books that we don’t have in our personal collection are marked with an (L) because I found them at our local library.


November 27: {1st Sunday of Advent}The Story of Christmas
November 28: The Gift of the Magi
November 29: Little Blue Truck’s Christmas
November 30: Waiting for Christmas (L)
December 1: How Many Miles to Bethlehem?
December 2: The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobbler’s Sons
December 3:  The Christmas Tree Alphabet Book


December 4: {2nd Sunday of Advent} The Gift of the Christmas Cookie (L)
December 5: The Legend of the Candy Cane 
December 6: {St. Nicholas Day} Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins
December 7: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
December 8: The Legend of the Christmas Rose (L)
December 9:  The Sweet Smell of Christmas
December 10: The Pine Tree Parable


December 11: {3rd Sunday of Advent/Gaudete Sunday} An orange for Frankie (L)
December 12: The Polar Express
December 13: Lucia: Saint of Light
December 14: The Christmas Bird

December 15: The Christmas Story

December 16: Nine Days to Christmas (L)
December 17: The Stable Where Jesus Was Born (L)


December 18: {4th Sunday of Advent / O Adonai} If He Had Not Come
December 19: The legend of the poinsettia (L)
December 20: The first Christmas stocking (L)
December 21: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
December 22: Guess Who’s Coming To Santa’s for Dinner?
December 23: O Holy Night
December 24: The Night Before Christmas


We are also incorporating Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas {not an affliate link} into our Morning Time Recitations. I LOVE this book! Each day in December you read the pages for the day and count down to the days of Christmas. Each story ties into Jesus' family tree and everyday you will begin to unwrap the greatest Gift as you trace the family line and heritage of our own forever family, within the family of God.

Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—

    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root...

In that day the heir to David’s throne

    will be a banner of salvation to all the world.

The nations will rally to him,
    and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.

~ Isaiah 11:1,10 {NLT}



Do you have any special plans for Advent this year? I would love to hear about your family traditions. 

Books for the Holidays



©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wordless Wednesday






©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wordless Wednesday





©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Pick up Kwik Stixs at Target

If you are heading out shopping for a little person this weekend I have the perfect gift solution for you! What if I told you there was such a thing as no mess painting? That's right, no cups, smocks, brushes, or a single drop of water needed to paint a masterpiece for your budding Picasso.



This year give the gift of creativity with a set of Kwik Stix paint sticks and watch your little artist bloom. For the last few weeks Micah, my two year old, has been keeping himself busy creating masterpieces and doing art "cool" as he calls it with the help of Kwik Stix Metalix and Kwik Stix Neons from the The Pencil Grip, Inc. . Each of these 6 packs contain colors that are so vibrant and the paint is contained in a tube roughly the size of a glue stick. This size is perfect for little hands to grasp.



Let me tell you these no mess paint sticks have since changed the way we paint! With a fast drying and non-toxic formula, the colors dry in just 90 seconds after coming in contact with your paper, cardboard, wood, or even canvas media. Just pop the cap off, twist the stick to make the paint rise up and you are ready for hours of fun painting. 

They are extremely affordable at just $5.99 a set and they are now availbe at Target! So while you are out shopping this weekend be sure to pick up a set or two! I know we are because they make the perfect gift for Secret Santa/Sisters exchanges.



©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wordless Wednesday





©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Chara Games: Commissioned ~ a TOS review

Do you love playing board games at your house? We sure do! We've been playing the new game Commissioned from Chara Games during a few of our family game nights. Let me tell you a little about it because you are in for a real treat.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Chara Games LLC was founded by Katherine & Patrick Lysaght in 2014. Together they desired to design and publish innovative and fun tabletop games with Christian themes. Chara is the Biblical Greek word for “unshakeable joy”. They want to help you and your family experience joy through their relationships with God and other people through playing games to help build and foster relationships through shared, joyful experiences.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Commisioned is a cooperative game for ages 14 and up that focuses on the history of the early Christian church through the eyes of the Apostles. As you play along  while spreading the gospel and planting churches throughout the land you will truely expeirence joy as you learn about the gospel. This was our first experience playing a cooperative game but it was actually quite fun because everything and everyone works together with a common goal of everyone succeeding and winning. With a lot of patience and help my 10 year old was able to play along too, but it did take a bit of learning.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

To begin playing, each player takes on the role as an Apostle who each have different strengths and weaknesses along with special gifts that come in handy as you play. As you use the skills of your Apostle you work as team to help the other Apostiles in the game grow the Church of Christ. Also along the way you collect the books of the New Testament and experience some of the trials had by the true Apostles during this time period.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

This is not a game you just pull off the shelf and play. It is detailed and you will need to read the instructions thoroughly along with watching the helpful instructional video. But don't let that deter you from investing in this game! Once you know how to play it will be a game that you play over and over again! In the game box you receive:

 • 1 double sided game board 
• 5 double sided scenario cards 
• 6 unique player boards
 • 96 faith cards
 • 27 trial cards 
• 4 wood missionary meeples 
• 75 wood church member cubes
 • 1 wood elder's staff 
• 6 wood player pawns
 • 30 double sided stop tokens
 • 5 double sided extinguish tokens 
• 1 converted city leader's token 
• 1 Roman Legion token 
• 1 8-sided die 
• 1 rule book 
• 1 Theme Appendix 


Overall, this is a great game that we have enjoyed! I would love to take the time over Thanksgiving break and play again when my oldest is home from University and play as teams so my younger girls can possibly get in on the action. If you are looking for a quality game to add to your game closet then look no further that Commissioned!

Check out the banner below and read what my CrewMates thought of this game.

Commissioned {Chara Games}
Company ~ Chara Games LLC
 Product ~ Commissioned 
Price ~ $44.00
 Ages ~ 14 and up

Commissioned {Chara Games}

Social Media Links:

Facebook
Twitter  @Charagames

#hsreviews #ChristianBoardGames #StrategyGames

Crew Disclaimer



©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.
 http://astablebeginning.com

Monday, November 14, 2016

Happy 16th birthday Madison!!!



©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Critical Thinking Company: Language Smarts, Level E ~ a TOS review

Just recently I have had the opportunity to work through the brand new curricula Language Smarts™ Level E from The Critical Thinking Co.™ with Montana, who is 10.

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

The Critical Thinking Co. is a family-owned business that has been “empowering the mind” for more than 50 years. They sell critical thinking products/supplements that cover reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history. Instead of rote drilling and memorization, students are encouraged to “carefully analyze what they are learning.” The Critical Thinking Co. is on a mission to develop the critical thinking skills in all children. The Language Arts book is available in either book form or Windows PC download.

We received a physical copy of the book that is a hefty 390+ pages! This product is also available as an eBook too if you have multiple children to use this. I should note that the copywrite does allow you to make copies for your own personal family, something that as a large family homeschooler I appreciate.

This book is written for children in the 4th grade but it does contain information pertaining to 5th grade material too. It is so through that it can be used either as a supplement to your regular Language Arts curriculum or as a stand-alone complete curriculum. We used it as the latter during our review period.

The book covers a lot of material and you can get an in-depth look at the table of contents on the website, however, these are some of the topics covered:

  •  • Syllables
  •  • Word Parts (prefixes, suffixes, roots)
  •  • Word Relationships (synonyms, antonyms, anagrams, analogies, palindromes, etc)
  •  • Spelling
  •  • Editing (Editor In Chief pages)
  •  • Reference Materials (dictionary, online dictionary, thesaurus, online encyclopedia, searching the Internet, nonfiction)
  •  • Parts of Speech
  •  • Sentences 
  • • Punctuation
  •  • Using Words Correctly (homophones, misused words, homographs)
  •  • Reading and Writing (context clues, similes, metaphors, idioms, proverbs, comprehension, drama, poems, etc.) 
  • • Writing (process, personal narrative, opinions, informative, and Writing Detective pages) 

Working through the book is quite simple. You can start from the first page and go that route or you can choose to skip around topics as we did. Normally Montana completed 2 pages a day, Monday through Friday, but I skipped around in each section to keep the material fresh. The worksheets instructions are explained thoroughly and always include an example of what is being asked to be completed. For the teacher, the answers are included in the back of the book. I especially enjoy the fact that I can use this as a supplement, especially since we are fast approaching our gymnastics travel season. I know that instead of lugging around our current language arts curricula I can turn to Language Smarts™ Level E and know that Montana is getting quality instruction and material to practice on her level. For that I give this product two thumbs up!

Be sure to check out what my CrewMates thought of this product and the other items being reviewed by clicking the banner below to read their thoughts.

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

Price ~ $42.99 physical book or eBook 
Ages ~ 4th grade, suitable for 5th grade too

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}

Social Media Links:
 #hsreviews #criticalthinking #languagearts

Crew Disclaimer



©2008 - 2016 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.
 http://astablebeginning.com