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 12th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wordless Wednesday ~ inside joke with cousin




© 2008 - 2019 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, November 21, 2019

Fun Literature kits from LitWits ~ a TOS review

Happy Thursday Friends! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just one week away! Today I have an aweseom literature study if you are a book-loving family. Since we are a book-loving family that uses a literature approach to homeschooling, I am always on the lookout for ideas on how to get the most out of books we read. I jumped at the chance to checkout LitWit Kits from LitWits. We were given access to 4 LitWits but for this review I choose to have Montana work with the LitWits Kit for Island of The Blue Dolphins.


Reading to your children is a big deal as far as growth and development. The less screen time and the more snuggling and reading does wonders for the brain and body. LitWits were created by, Becky and Jenny, who are sisters and best friends. Since they love great books they wanted to instill a literature rich generation of book lovers starting with their own children. With the LitWit kits your child will get a hands-on, multi-sensory learning experience about selected literature.



Each kit offers a variety of activities to fully engage with the book. From puzzles, games, preparing and eating food, to preforming short skits there are so many learning activities to accompany each novel being read. Each LitWit Kit is delivered in a digital format PDF file and can be accessed online in your account. With over 40 novel titles to choose from there is sure to be a novel you’ll want to check out with your family.





Montana worked through the LitWit Kit for the novel Island of the Blue Dolphin, a novel in which I have fond memories of reading when I was her age. Having access to this hands-on literature study helped her connect with the novel’s main character, Karana. Montana especially enjoyed the art projects involved in this kit. She loved doing her cave drawing with the oil pastels.




She didn’t really want to complete many of the other activities that went with this novel but I made sure she looked at them all. McKenzie and I are starting to read The Witch of Blackbird Pond and I look forward to sharing the LitWit Kit with her. We are only on Chapter 3 but she is eager to play the games and to create her own hornbork.



I look forward to using the other two LitWit Kits we picked out, A Wrinkle in Time and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler after the Christmas holiday break. I will be reading these two books aloud to McKenzie and Micah and I look forward to doing all the fun activities these LitWit Kits contain.

LitWits Kits {LitWits Reviews}
My CrewMates also reviewed a variety of different LitWit Kits so be sure to click the banner below to see their thoughts. We enjoy them and I look forward to adding more to our collection for next school year.

LitWits Kits {LitWits Reviews}

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© 2008 - 2019 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

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wordless Wednesday




© 2008 - 2019 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 19, 2019

Online Math with Thinkwell Homeschool ~ a TOS review

I have a great review to share with you today if you are looking for a comprehensive math program. When my students hit middle school age and arise from their puberty fog my goal is for them to become more independent in their studies. Using Thinkwell’s 6th to 8th Grade Math course with Montana and the High School Math course with Mikayla has been the perfect way to supplement math learning in our home.


Thinkwell Homeschool offers Video based math courses for students in 6th - High School, including honors courses, advanced math, and college level math in an online format. Having an online format enables your student to have access to the material 24/7. This feature is especially convenient for our family especially as we head into our busy travel season.



We received access to two math courses for this review, 7th Grade Math and Pre-Calculus. I used Montana (7th grade, 13 years old) and Mikayla (11th grade, 16 years old) respectively for the programs. Once we received access setting up the courses and assigning access for them was really easy. We have been using the program as a supplement 2-3 days a week (typically on Monday and Friday, to our main math program and it has been working out great for the girls.



Each course is scheduled out with suggested lesson plans for the entire school year which I love. With day-to-day and week-by-week plans you can keep your child focused to finish the complete level in a timely manner. If for some reason you need to go a bit slower, that’s perfectly okay as well! The Thinkwell program allows for flexibility in the courses and I don’t have to stress out about how fast or slow the girls are progressing.



Chapters within each course contain videos, worksheets, and extra enrichment activities that your child can complete. Worksheets and notes can be printed out and stored in a math binder for easy reference. You also have the option to purchase all the notes and worksheets from the company if you don’t want to print. I found it easy enough to just print the worksheets we needed day by day.




The 320 engaging videos are presented by Ph.D Professor Evan Burger and are clear and concise. There is no fluff and I like that about the program, especially in the higher level course like Pre-Calculus. I also love that the program is ready right after setting up your account. This makes it easy to know that even if we can’t hit the hardcover math books, Thinkwell is there for us and we can still get lessons in on the go.

6th to 8th Grade Math (Pre-Algebra) and High School Math  (Algebra to Calculus) {Thinkwell Reviews}
Overall, Montana and Mikayla are excited about using this math curriculum. I certainly love it as well because the girls don’t complain when it’s a Thinkwell math day. We definitely will be continuing to use our Thinkwell 7th grade math and Pre-Calculus courses for this school year 2 days a week. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates think of this online math curriculum to see if it is a good fit for your family by clicking the banner below.

6th to 8th Grade Math (Pre-Algebra) and High School Math  (Algebra to Calculus) {Thinkwell Reviews}

Company ~ Thinkwell 
 Product ~ 7th Grade Math and Pre-Calculus 
 Format ~ online homeschool math 
 Price ~ $125.00 and $150.00
 Ages ~ Middle school and up


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© 2008 - 2019 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

Friday, November 15, 2019

God's Mail, Volume 3 ~ a TOS review

Happy Friday friends! Another week is nearly done and we are inching towards the Christmas season. Today I am excited to share with you a devotion book that I have been reading from Ron Hardin called, God’s Mail Volume 3.

Mr. Hardin has penned three volumes of his God's Mail series that includes over 500 poems in total. Ron has a familiar story of being saved as a young boy but in his teenage and early twenties turning away from God. During this time he found himself wrapped up in the twisted world of gangs, alcohol, and drug activity. Then on Christmas Eve in 1983 he turned himself around and returned home and to the church.

As Ron worked to turn his life around he says he felt God encouraging him to write about the stories of his life. And that is just what this volume of God’s Mail is…a book of poems to tell the story of God’s truth and love for us, His people.

 “where the word of a king is, there is power”. ~ forward 
I received a Kindle edition of the book. It contains pages of original poetry written by Mr. Hardin. Each poem is accompanied with a page or two of scripture references for each poem. The format is the same , poem and then scriptures as you swipe to the right through the Kindle edition. The scripture comes from many different versions, The Message, NKJV, God’s Word Translation, and TLB. There is a softcover option of this book which is 8x11 and contains illustrated pages behind the poems and scripture.

I read through this Kindle book myself and I was pleased with it. Many of the topics discussed within the book are things that we can relate to in the world such as trust, abortion, forgiveness, and divorce and more. While I did appreciate the different scripture translations, I did find myself looking in my own personal Bibles, NIRV, to cross reference what was being said.




I am grateful for the opportunity to review this book. I think I would have enjoyed it more as a softcover. For me, it was hard to read on my iPad Kindle app. I am not sure that the Kindle edition of this book is something that I would recommend unless you absolutely love eBooks editions.

God's Mail: Volume 3 {God's Mail Reviews}

But, don’t just take my word for it. 24 of my CrewMates also reviewed this book in both softcover and Kindle editions. Be sure to check out their thoughts by clicking the banner below and decide for yourself if you would like to read it.

God's Mail: Volume 3 {God's Mail Reviews}

Company ~ God’s Mail 
 Format ~ Kindle version 
 Price ~ $9.99 
 Ages ~ older teens – adults

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© 2008 - 2019 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

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Horses in History ~ a TOS review

Its no secret that we love to read in our house. The foundation of our school curriculum is literature so I could not turn down the chance to review the newest Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series from Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books. My animal-loving daughter, Montana was eager to read the 4 books in the series so let's get started.


Since she first penned her first book, Mattie Richardson has been called “North Dakota’s Teen Author”. She now has six books under her belt as she works full-time as a journalist. With her passion of horses, they became the focus of the newest book series she penned about the Horses in History.

These are the perfect books for 8-14 year old’s to get a first-hand look at the past. The Horses in History series tells about the importance of horses during certain historical time periods. The unique thing is that we hear the historical fiction not from man’s viewpoint, but from the horses point of view. We received the four book set along with the PDF of the brand new Day and Night Enrichment Guide for the Day and Night book.



Appaloosy is the first book that is set during 1887 during the Nez Perce War. With 125 pages it tells the story of a beautiful brown Apploosa stallion named Storm. The horse hates that he is living with the Indians and he has his sights on escaping and running free. During a battle between the Indians and White men storm is stolen and sold to a man who thinks he is no good. This man sells him to a girl named Faith, whose family lives on a small farm. Storm is content and happy to be with Faith but all that changes when he is stolen once again. After a while he is able to break free from his captures and has to make the choice of whether to run free or to return to Faith and her family.


Dusty Trail tells the story of young Levi Andersen and his horse Dusty. Dusty the horse is happy to stay on the quiet farm but Levi wants to join the Pony Express. When Levi has the chance to be a part of the Pony Express it is a dangerous job. Indian attack and Levi is captured by the Indians. Dusty has to decide if he will run away or be loyal and save his friend.


Set during the Civil War, brothers Tucker and Shiloh are the focus of the book Day and Night. The two horse brothers are just like the title says and different from day and night. Shiloh is stolen by a Confederate girl and Tucker is sold to the US Army. The brothers want nothing more than to see each other again through all the fighting.


Golden Sunrise tells the story of a Palomino mare named Cheyenne and her rider, Jared. This story tells how they defend the Alamo against Mexican fighters. Throughout their adventures in saving the Alamo, they meet famous people like Davy Crockett and James Bowie. Both fight to make it through the war to see the Texas flag fly.
Montana’s enjoyed reading the books. None of them took her more than a few days to finish and she enjoyed the fact that the books told historical facts as well. I can’t wait for McKenzie to be ready read these books on her own. I have added them to her list for summer reading.

Book Set: Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise & Day and Night {Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books Reviews}
But don’t just take our word for it, 54 other Crew members reviewed these historical fiction books so be sure to click the banner below and check out their thoughts as well!

Book Set: Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise & Day and Night {Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books Reviews}

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© 2008 - 2019 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

Wordfull Wednesday ~ Qualified for Lv7 STATE


First Level 7 meet {11/10/19} for McKenzie and she qualified for the STATE meet and had a Personal Best on Floor with a 9.525 (4th place). Good job, baby girl!


© 2008 - 2019 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, November 8, 2019

Your Amazing Name! ~ a TOS review

The holidays are fast approaching and today I have a great gift to share with you. Personalized gifts are always so much more meaningful so I was really excited to review the brand new Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! from CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts with Micah.


What’s in a name? Do you know the meaning behind your name? Our little guy has a unique name, just like his older sisters. And just like his sisters he is called by a pseudonym, Micah, online. Because every name has a special meaning to it John and Katie Dehnart from CrossTimber are a small family business that researches the history and meaning behind names. They offer a huge selection of personalized gifts that highlight the meaning behind your name including:

 ~ 8x10 or 5x7 framed name meaning plaques  
~ Music boxes  
~ Coffee mugs  
~ The Names of God Plaques 



Micah received the newest product from CrossTimber, Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! just a few weeks ago. This product is a video that not only showcases the origin and meaning of your child’s name but the video also features a piece of your child’s artwork. Your child’s name is shown on the video at least 20 times within the video. I really liked this as it gave ownership of the video to my son.


A personalized message from the parent or whoever sends the video is also included in this special gift. This personalized message really gives the sender the chance to tell the recipient just how special and loved they are as it is read in a sweet voice in the video. A Bible verse is also presented to your child in the video. One that you can pick out especially for your child.


Micah was so excited to see his personalized name video! When he saw his piece of artwork that he painted at our weekly coop and heard Benjamin the pencil say his name his was over the moon excited! The HD video is 28 minutes long and Micah was enthralled the whole time! He loved the story and all the fun animation characters as well. He especially loved seeing his name written in cursive because his older sisters write in cursive but he is still learning.



Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! {CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts Reviews}

If you are looking for a special gift for someone during this upcoming holiday season for someone special on your list look no further than Your Amazing Name — Personalized Adventures for EVERY name!. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates think of this special gift by clicking the banner below.

Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! {CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts Reviews}
Format ~ HD video, 28 minutes long
 Price ~ Digital Delivery: $59.00, on sale for $39.00 
 Ages ~ everyone

Amazing Names by CrossTimber
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© 2008 - 2019 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