Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Matthew West Live Forever Review and Giveaway!!!!

If you've been around here for any length of time you know music is my "thing". I love pretty much any type of music, within reason.

Recently I received a new favorite CD. Matthew West Live Forever arrived not too long ago and I have fallen in love with it. I was so blessed to receive this review product from Family Christian. They offer a wide range of music, movies and more to inspire you on your walk with Christ. This is another one to add to your collection!!

On this album Matthew takes stories from people just like you and turns them into songs you can really relate to. This entire album is talking about finding that joy and peace only He can give during those difficult times.

The album was released in April of this year and already is making a difference in those who listen. I know for me it's uplifting and reminds me that even in dark days, there's a hope!

You'll hear songs such as:

  • Heaven is the Hope
  • Tryin'
  • Grace Wins
  • World Changers
  • The List 
  • And many more!
It's a very upbeat album that makes you want to bob your head or just get up and move with it. I love the lyrics to the songs and how it speaks to you no matter where you might be. Here's one of my favorite songs on the album:

This album is now sitting in my CD player on my desk. I listen to it when I'm working, cleaning or just need some inspiration. I think you need it in your car, your home anywhere you might need some great tunes that uplift you and remind you there is Joy in this journey!!

Now some awesome, amazing wonderful news! I get to give away a copy of this fabulous CD to one of my readers!! YES!!! Just enter the giveaway down below!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thankful Thursday

321. I'm thankful for a nice visit with my family this past week.

322. For a good cup of stout coffee on those days when you stay up way too late to function the next day

323. For a sweet, kind, amazing hubby which I'm getting to spend some quality time with this week.

324. For amazing parents that are keeping Boo Bear so we can start the process of making it easier for him to breathe in our home

325. For a weekend ahead of home improvement, relaxing and exciting projects

326. For the amazing sacrifice that so many armed forces personnel have given over the years. Because of their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families, I can spend time with mine in a free country. There's never enough words to say how grateful we are to you and your families. You keep watch over night so that we can lay our heads down in peace. Because of you we can read our Bibles, pray and worship freely. Thank you isn't enough but it's all I know to say.

327. For downtime. I miss my kiddo something fierce but it's nice for me to be able to reboot and recharge too. Of course he's having fun planning his future farming career. ;)

328. For sunny days

329 For rainy afternoons

330. For long talks about nothing

331. For time to see a movie

332. For the quiet of the morning

333. For my crazy Molly

334. For time to plan our soon coming 4th grade year. Wow... Did I just say 4th grade???

335. For another summer of theater

336. For getting to move furniture around and redecorate. My favorite thing to do..

337. For sleeping in. Sometimes you just gotta

338. For having pretty much all of our curriculum for the next year together

339. For an amazing opportunity on the Review Crew. Because of that, I can have all our curriculum together. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ThinkFun All Queens Chess Review

If you've been around here before you know we love ThinkFun games here. Check out my reviews on two of their games here and here. 

They have done it again! A new game recently came out called All Queens Chess. 

This is similar to a connect four or four in a row type of game. The best part? You use the most powerful piece of the chess set. The Queen. 

The point of this game is to get all of your chess Queen pieces in a row either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The Queen can move as it does in the game of Chess. You just need to get them in to the rows with four in line. 

It is harder than you might think. As you're playing you're having to stay on top of your game and on top of what your opponent is doing. They can sneak up and beat you before you realize it. (Just like my son did)

 You must follow the etiquette where as your queen can not jump over another piece and the queen can not be captured. 

The more you play the more involved it gets as you try to outwit your opponent. The game is set for ages 8 and up and is for 2 players. 

It comes with :
  • 6 black queens 
  • 6 red queens
  • A gameboard
  • Instructions
You can find this new ThinkFun game on Amazon for around $12.00. This is another winner in our home from the ThinkFun company. They have been creating games for strategy and brain sharpening for many years.

My son and enjoyed trying to outdo each other. He did sneak up and beat me several times as I got distracted. Note to self... Don't get distracted playing a youngster at a board game. We both enjoyed playing the game.

This is another one to add to your list of games for family game night. Get the board set up and see who can become the All Queens Chess champion!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fish Flix : Flight and Metamorphosis DVD Review

Finding quality movies and Christian DVD's just got a little easier. Introduce the company. They offer family friendly Christian movies that are good for the soul and for the family. Recently I got to review two of their videos, Flight and Metamorphosis. Both of these movies are part of the Design of Life series. 

We received two physical DVD's to watch these fascinating stories. Typically you would think kids do not like documentaries. Not my kiddo. It has always fascinated me that he loves watching educational videos. It's not a problem to get him to watch Science videos, documentaries on history etc. These were no exception. He was after them the moment they arrived. 
Flight - This one was my son's favorite. Start following birds from the egg. You're going to experience all different life stages and development of the majestic flying creatures you see everyday. Review

This was filmed over several different locations following these creatures from birth through their development. You will discover inside the egg itself and once it hatches, you'll dive into the different structures of the bird such as how they can fly. 

Birds can do amazing things such as migrate to the same area every year. How do they do that? What instincts do they have that helps them go to the same spot? How do birds fly like the do? What makes them able to soar and swoop? The video will also go over the structure of their wings and how they develop. Do you like Hummingbirds? You're in luck! Get ready to learn about these fascinating creatures and how their metabolism works. 

Follow a flock of birds on their "longest migration on the planet" and see what it takes for them to arrive safely to their destinations. Get ready to take trips around the world and see what these amazing creatures face. 

Migration - The Beauty & Design of Butterflies Review

These creatures have always fascinated me. They are amazing and one of God's beautiful and intricate designs. Through the process of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, we get to follow these amazing creatures from the egg stage, caterpillar and through the chrysalis into the amazing butterfly.

I was fascinated myself by things we learned in this video. The eggs have to be laid on a particular plant or they will not survive. The caterpillar does nothing but eat and molt 4-5 times to prepare for the chrysalis stage. Did you know that the caterpillar is nothing like what the butterfly body will be? It's amazing to watch all these changes and how this amazing creature comes to pass.

We also learned about the Monarch butterfly that migrates South to Mexico every year. They have a magnetic compass of sorts that gets them to the same spot. Sort of like how the birds migrate to the same locations.

What we thought...
We really enjoyed these videos.  The Flight one was my son's favorite as he loves birds of all sorts. The movies are very well done with vibrant shots and quality production. Both of the movies are approximately one hour and five minutes long, give or take. They are probably best for those who are 10 and up. My son is nine and loves these types of movies so they held his attention.

I highly recommend checking out for a variety of Christian DVD's and films for the whole family. Be sure to check out their social media sites below and also see what other crew members were able to view.

Google +
YouTube Review

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, May 15, 2015

Week in Review.. A week of surprises!

This week has slightly flown by! Wahoo! I'm ready for a relaxing weekend. It's been a crazy wild wonderful week.

This week... This Guy...

Turned 9 years old. WHAATT?? Really? Yes! I can't believe it's his last single digit year already. Whew! We had a wonderful time shopping on his birthday, eating out with surprise friends and spending the day doing his favorite things.

We started out with breakfast at his favorite place.

He got to spend his gift card money that he received from Grandparents. That was fun. Spent an hour or longer in Toys R Us making some difficult decisions.

We ended the day with dinner at one of his favorite restaurants with some of our friends. He had no idea they were coming and was totally shocked.

Our school week consisted of continuing on with our subjects. We are sort of working on 3rd and 4th grade together. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that. We have pretty much finished with items except for our math. That one always seems to be the last one finished up. We are now looking at continuing math till we finish and then take an official break for summer. We don't typically take very long since we school year round.

We also had another surprise come in for him. His grandparents came down for a week and he gets to have a vacation with them soon :). He's super excited and wants no more surprises for awhile :-).

Our week was full of fun and surprises. What about you guys?

Have a wonderful week and don't forget to check out Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Our 4 Kiddos.

Homeschool Legacy: Birds of a Feather Review

Homeschool Legacy Review
We love animals here in our house. Birds, ocean life, land life, you name it. My kiddo loves it. We recently got to combine our love of animals with a great product from Homeschool Legacy called  Birds of a Feather for a TOS review. 

Homeschool Legacy offers a variety of once a week unit studies with a variety of topics ranging in history and science. These unit studies provide a great way to study a specific topic of interest to your child while you're having fun doing it. 
Homeschool Legacy Review
These unit studies offer a variety of learning activities for you to utilize and learn about your specific subject of interest. They also give you guidelines on how you can earn your American Heritage Girls Badge or your Boy Scout badge. 

Our book was called Birds of a Feather. We received the physical copy but some of them are available in a digital download copy only.

Homeschool Legacy Review
What the book entails...
Our book had a schedule for using the study once a week combined with daily family read alouds. Each week you can pick one (or as many as you can read) read alouds to do with the family. Your child can read them or you can use it in your reading time. Each week's topic focuses on a different area of birding. We started with our backyard habitat, took a look at identifying different birds, ornithology and finally, our favorite, birds of prey. 

Each week of your study covers a variety of topics and activities including:
  • Family Read Aloud
  • Independent Reading
  • Family Devotional
  • Language/History 
  • Science
  • Field Trip Options
  • Family Movie Night
For example, some of the activities in our first week were to set up our outside bird area. While we already have an area set up, it gives you a variety of activities to build a birdbath, bird feeder and a bird house. It also gave us a suggestion of a movie for family movie night this first week.

How we used it...
This unit study could not have come at the more perfect time. We had a lot of extracurricular things that came up having to do with birds and it fit right in with our study.

For us, we would listen to the read alouds throughout the week instead of all on one day. Spreading it out is how Homeschool Legacy suggests you do it. Since Boo Bear loves audio books, that's the route we chose.

Each week we listened to our story for the week. On Wednesday of each week we would do Unit Study day. This is when we would work on our projects for the week's lessons. We did the devotional reading, worked on our feeder and other projects.

Our home came with an already built birdhouse and bird bath. We added a feeder last year and have really enjoyed watching the birds out the window. One awesome thing is there's a little blue bird family that has taken up residence in the house. The previous owner said that blue bird always comes to this house to lay her eggs. Guess what? It's baby time at our house!!

Mama has been doing an awesome job taking care of them. You can barely see their tiny little heads poking out. 

It's so awesome to watch and have this going on with our unit study.

We also got a chance to see a falconer at the library. He brought in his Australian Eagle Owl when we were getting ready to do the Birds of Prey week. It was an amazing and informative class and we learned a lot. My son decided he wanted to be a falconer when he grew up.

We were also able to hold a feather or two and see the difference in the hawk and other feathers. It's amazing how the feathers are designed on the owls and other birds of prey to not make a sound. 

The feathers are very different.

We were very lucky to have all this extra added on with our unit study. It just makes it all come to life even more.

I personally enjoy doing unit studies. It gives us a break each week from the everyday lessons. While those are important, I highly believe it's important to follow your child's interest to keep them active and engaged in what they are learning.

I would highly recommend checking out these once a week unit studies to add some extra fun to your weekly schedule. It's really easy to prepare for the lessons as everything is all together in one place. You have your supply lists, ideas and suggestions on how to run each weeks lesson. It's also up to you how much or how little you do from each week.

Be sure to click the banner below and check out the other studies that the crew were able to review!

Homeschool Legacy Review

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, May 8, 2015

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course Review

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review
Are you new to homeschooling? Are you a veteran homeschooler who just needs a fresh look at things? Then this review is for you! I recently had the opportunity to take Successful Homeschooling Made Easy 's product called the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course.

We have been homeschooling since Kindergarten with the exception of about six months during second grade. I've done a lot of research and tried avoiding the homeschool burnout but it inevitably shows up. I took a look at this course by Stephanie Walmsley and was immediately intrigued by the idea of a fresh start.

What is it?
Stephanie comes in and gives you a 26 week course that helps you make homeschool easy and fun in your home. If you're starting out as a new homeschooler, this course gives you tools you need to get started the right way. If you're a veteran, this course will give you some ideas to freshen up your schedule, learn how to reset some goals for the future and avoiding homeschool burnout.
Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review

Each week your lesson is delivered via email in a PDF format. You can print it out and put in a binder for your use to refer back to at any time. For me, I kept it online and printed out the question/answer pages and some of the forms she provides. It was just easier for me to keep it in my email folder to go back to.

Every week your lesson will cover a different aspect of homeschooling. For example, the first week was making a schedule. You should decide what time of day works better for you and your family. Are you a morning family? Do you work better fresh out of bed and after some coffee? Then schedule your school time for morning. Do you work better in the afternoon (after lots of coffee)? Then start your school work for that time of day. Whatever works best for you is when you should choose to run your homeschool days. I printed out the schedule and started making ours up. For us, the morning seems to work better.

Your weekly lessons will have questions for you to focus on and answer yourself. Questions like:

  • What are your goals for homeschooling?
  • Are you taking care of yourself? 
  • What are your outside commitments?
  • Am I living vicariously?
  • What am I giving my child that I wanted as a child
This questions dig into you and what your plans are. It helps you to set out clear goals on why you're homeschooling and what you want to see in the future for your child, and yourself.

How I Used it and What I Thought...
I would do my lessons each morning after my devotional time. Stephanie recommends taking time for yourself and sitting down to focus on the questions at hand. I would read through the material she provided and print out the question sheets so I could write my answers out. Sometimes they were easy to answer and other times I had to think long and hard about what my answer was.

To me this program is amazing and inspiring for you no matter how long you've been homeschooling. The Successful Homeschooling Made Easy course was easy to understand and use. It made me think about a lot and honestly helped me get our schedule back under control. I was able to set up a time frame and better structure for our homeschool day. It has also helped Boo Bear to know what time we start, where breaks are etc. I have to admit I had honestly stopped doing breaks. We were just plowing through our day. When I realized how good those breaks were for both of us, things skyrocketed into a better day.

I highly suggest giving yourself some time to take this course no matter where on your homeschooling journey you may be. The lessons are not too long and you can do them on your time. It's just for you to encourage you and help you get a plan in place that makes homeschooling easy.

Check out the link below to hear what others thought about this program and how it helped them.

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review

Crew Disclaimer