Friday, December 19, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up : Winter Break is Here!

Happy Friday! Our Winter break is officially on and we are all excited. We have family coming in for the holidays, treats to bake, presents to wrap and a house to get in order. Whew! I'm tired from just listing all that!

Since we are on break we didn't do any actual school work this week but we did have some fun adventures.

We did spend Monday night singing Christmas carols with our Cub Scout group at a local rehabilitation home.

This is a yearly service event we do and the kids have a blast. The residents also have fun and of course us parents, well we just have hearts bursting at the seams :). 

We spent some time watching a few of our favorite Christmas specials. Prep and Landing and Prep and Landing 2 came on this week and they are two of our new favorites. 

Nothing like cuddling up on the couch and watching something to put you in the Christmas mood right?

We also had fun decorating our fireplace this year. Well, I did anyway. I'm loving having a fireplace in our house for the first time... ever. 

Please overlook all the crazy books and supplies. I mean come on. We are homeschoolers right? :-) Surely you have spots where books are stacked all different ways because little hands keep running to grab them, right??? 

Our local community college has a model train display that they put on each year at this time. The local model train club comes out and sets up their displays and you can visit, for free. So that's what we did. This is one thing we have tried to do since we moved here. 

Someone was a little excited, don'tcha think?

These displays are amazing and you can tell that it took a huge amount of time, talent and effort to put all this together. 

The detail is simply amazing! I can't imagine doing this but it has caused Boo bear to want to start a new hobby. There are people fishing, long horn cows, a herd of animals, a shopping area and so much more. 

He really did have an amazing time ;). 

We went to lunch, made some treats and had a special candlelight communion service this week. We are really looking forward to the next few days as we have lots of fun coming up. I'm also trying to take sometime to evaluate where we are at this point in the year and what we need to do come January. 

So how has your week gone? Are you still schooling or are you on break yet? 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thankful Thursday

**Don't forget to enter the giveaway going on now! **

It's my favorite post of the week! As Christmas is approaching quickly, I reflect over the last year we have been blessed with. It's amazing another year has flown by so quickly.. I can't believe it! Has this year just gone too quickly or is it just me?

(Apparently I didn't post last week when I thought I had. :) So this will be double Thankful )

111. I'm thankful for Christmas movies and cuddling up with my kiddo. We relaxed and watched Prep and Landing and Naughty vs Nice this week. We love both of these and have added them into our Christmas traditions.

112. Our new home we were blessed with this year. I may have said it already but I'm so thankful that we have our home. God truly guided us to this location and I believe it without a doubt. 

113. Science class Thursdays. Boo Bear loves these classes and it is a great break for both of us. 

114. The praise and worship team at church. I have been highly blessed to work with such an amazing team of musicians this year. They each have a heart for worship and a heart after God. 

115. Singing songs with Boo Bear.

116. Long chats in the morning with my hubby. We don't often get those but this morning we did as he didn't have to rush out the door as early as normal. 

117. Laughing until my sides hurt. My son and my husband keep me laughing everyday. They both have me cracking up until I can't breathe and it's amazing.

118. Great Friends. I have been blessed with some amazing friends in my adult life. They have been there to pray for us, encourage us, lift us up and welcome us with open arms and hearts. I love each and every one of them and am so grateful I can call them friend.

119. My salvation. Every day I'm so thankful that His mercies are new and his grace is there to catch me when I fall. I honestly don't know how people make it through life without Him in it. 

120. A great crazy younger brother. He's a great uncle and he and his wife make a great team. I'm thankful that he found his true love and wish we could see each other more often. 

121. Special times with my son. We went to check out the Christmas model train display that is up each year and it was a lot of fun. Just stepped away from school, housework and the long list of to-dos that is waiting on me. 

122. My job that God blessed me with this year. It has been such a blessing and a wonderful opportunity!

123. Making cookies and treats in the kitchen. Yep. Tis the season!

124. Candlelight Communion with our Pastor and his family.

125. Dancing around the kitchen with Boo Bear like nobody is watching.

126. The relationship that my son and our Golden have formed. They are best buddies and I believe they always will be. 

127. Packages shipping on time.

128. Family coming to visit. 

129. Living in the country.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What's in the Bible ? #13 Review

We love watching DVD's that mean something to the whole family. Don't get me wrong. We love watching silly stuff that just lets your brain unwind a bit too. We have always loved the videos we have found at Family Christian and our newest series we reviewed is no different.

I've seen the What's in the Bible series around but we haven't had an opportunity to watch it, until now. We recently received the What's in the Bible #13 , God's Kingdom Comes!

The same creator that brought you the Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer, brings you another video series that will help your children understand the Bible easier. This particular video covers what it means to be a Christian in Hebrews and James, then take us on to what John saw in Revelation.

Boo Bear and I curled up on the couch and proceeded to see what Buck Denver and his friends had to say. We loved it!!

We were both giggling off and on throughout the video as the characters had some interesting and funny things to say. I loved how it helped my son understand some of the books of the Bible on his terms and level. Even for me, it helps with some of the things that go on in Revelation. The video runs about an hour and is full of fun and exciting facts about the General Epistles and the end of the book. 

Here's a clip from Family Christian on the new video:

There are 13 volumes of this series and it goes over the entire Bible for your children to easily understand. Songs and puppets make things fun and there's always something silly going on.

Just like our love of Veggie Tales, we have fallen in love with Buck Denver and the What's in the Bible series. My kiddo has asked for more of these and it's one purchase I'm happy to make.

Do you watch the series or is it new to you?

The whole series of videos is on sale from now until Christmas Eve. Check out the different videos and start at the beginning of the Bible. There's also a Christmas video and even coloring books to work with the videos themselves.

Family Christian has allowed me to giveaway a $10 Appreciation Certificate. Guess what? This movie is on sale right now for $9.97! (some exclusions may apply. Please see your local store to insure you could use this certificate)

Enter the giveaway below and share what your favorite cartoon series from Family Christian is! Review Review
I am super excited to share that I'm back on the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew this year! It's a lot of fun and I'm sharing my first homeschooling product with you now! 
The offers a  yearly membership to their site and that is what we received to work with. This site offers everything from a full curriculum to use with your children to extracurricular activities and fill ins for the curriculum you already have. 
The yearly membership offers you access to over 100 courses taught by different teachers for your entire family. The membership itself gives you access to all the courses for each child to use. 
There's no per member charges so one fee gets you going for everyone in your family! There is also a co-op option you can do now with your entire homeschool group. 
You can easily get started with all the courses as they are not live and you start at your own pace. The archived lessons make it easy to go through the entire courses without waiting for the new session to start. There are courses you can choose that are a full years worth of curriculum, a semester or just an addition to what you are doing already.
For our use, we worked with the Spanish classes first. The Spanish lessons are video lessons and also has printables to use throughout the week. Each week you are learning new words and the video lessons are shorter, so no worry of losing attention there. The printables help to reinforce the words and put them in front of your child so they can see what they are saying. He really enjoyed working with these and he also wants to work on French as well. 
The site is broken down into Pre-K/Elementary, Middle/high school, Dailies, and other parental resources that come in handy. Since Boo Bear is in 3rd grade we used the Pre-K/Elementary area. A few things you'll find there include:
  • Tinkers Club
  • Art Techniques
  • Spanish
  • Guitar
  • Violin
  • Geography
  • Chemistry
  • And tons more
One of my favorite sections is the Dailies tab. Review

The Dailies resources give you short lessons to help you each day. You can explore Canada or the USA. Use this area for daily grammar, math and writing lessons to assist in what your children are learning. Print out a menu for the month and help yourself be more organized and less stressed. We all know how life can kind of get in the way sometimes. We can feel overrun, overwhelmed and just... over it. That's where the Joy in the Morning devotional under the Dailies section comes in. It helps you to refocus on your week and choose Joy.

I personally love that with this site you can pick and choose what to do. You can use this as your only curriculum or use it to add to what you're already doing. Everything you need is right at your fingertips. It is very easy to navigate and find what you're looking for, if you know what you want. My problem is there's so many wonderful things offered, I get lost trying to figure out what we want to do that day. :-)

This amazing site also offers a Facebook page where you can get ideas from others who use the site. You can join this community to meet the amazing teachers that pour their hearts into the curriculum on the site. You can also see how other parents out there are using the curriculum offered and gain some new ideas for your own classroom. They also have a Pinterest page where you can see all the wonderful ideas they share for your homeschool projects and curriculum.

The cost for this amazing program is typically $139 for the whole year or $12.95 a month. But this is the holiday season right? Yes it is! That means from now until Christmas Day you can get 40% off the monthly membership or 50% off the yearly membership. That means you can get this amazing full curriculum at your fingertips for only $7.77 a month. If you'd rather pay by the year you only pay $64.26. Want some more awesome news? You keep that rate for life as long as you stay a member of the site. It never goes up! Review

I have really enjoyed using this site and can't wait to use it more throughout this year. It really makes it easy to have everything you need all in one place. I highly recommend you head on over during this amazing sale and check it out for yourself. If you're looking to homeschool, are a veteran and need new ideas or just need to supplement what you're already doing, this is the place to go! Be sure to click the button below to see how other homeschool families used this product too! Review
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, December 12, 2014

Weekly WrapUp - Lots Going On!

**Check out the giveaway while you're here!**

I'm linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, Homegrown Learners and Our 4 Kiddos this week.

Whew! This week has been wild and crazy and loads of fun. And we got a little bit of school work done in there too. ;-)

We started this wild busy week with last Saturday night. Our smaller town had a parade this weekend and it was the biggest parade they have ever had. My church put a float in and our praise team sang Christmas songs as we rode through the parade. It was a blast and the first time I've ever done that before. We had a ball and Boo Beat rode the float with us. I do have to say that I have also never played and sang for two hours straight. My hands hurt and my voice was done. :) BUT it was a blast and our church float won 2nd place for the most Christmas spirit!!

He was ecstatic! Can you tell?

I truly love the people I play with and this was an amazing experience!

Our local museum (local in the next town over) had the Megalodon exhibit there this month. Boo Bear absolutely loves everything about sharks and can tell you probably more about them than I ever thought possible. So when I saw that exhibit we had to go.

He had a blast!! It was a fun day going on a field trip, eating lunch and Mama got to go to Trader Joe's! It's a win-win really.

We worked on our school work this week too. I usually try to take this month off but it's been a booger trying to get back on schedule with so many things going on last month. I'm proud that I'm realizing that's okay and not too stress about it. He's still learning with so many other things we have going on that it's okay to not sit in a classroom all the time. :)

I did print out some fun Christmas themed worksheets for him as extra practice while we move on to other topics in math. I am doing them as a drill each day. Does anyone else do these types of drills to just keep the steps of how-to work the problem in their minds?

We have discovered that he likes to read Graphic Novels. While my husband first wasn't sure what those were, as in freaked out because I said "graphic", Boo Bear has really enjoyed reading them. He finished the first in a series yesterday so we had to go back to the library to pick up the next one. We talked with the librarian about the different ones available and he wasn't interested. He's a tough cookie when it comes to what he wants to read about. I absolutely fell in love with the fact that yesterday he was reading a book as I was grocery shopping. No phone games. No tablet. No mom can we hurry. He was reading and loving it.

Today we have our homeschool group Christmas party and we are super excited. He helped make the food yesterday and he was quite proud of himself. :) I think he did awesome making those little Grinch Kabobs.

I made my strawberry cheesecake bites since I had several requests for them. They are a yummy treat and so easy to make.

So what's going on in your world this week?

Brain Fitness PathWords Review

Photo Credit:
Purchase on Amazon
 Games are a fun way to bring the family together, get your mind thinking and just to keep you on your toes sometimes. I have had past experience with ThinkFun games and this is another one in their awesome line of brain fitness challenges. 

PathWords is kind of like Tetris and a Wordsearch met and created a game. This is a one player game and is suggested for 12 and up. You really do have to know how to spell so this isn't like other games I've shared where the younger could play alone. 

You can play by yourself or you can take turns challenging a friend or your spouse to see who can get the challenge right. 

This game offers you a spiral bound book with different challenges to beat. You must put the colorful plastic pieces on the board but make it spell out the words at the same time. There's several words on the page that have nothing to do with the placement of the pieces and that can make it difficult to figure out sometimes. 

The challenges in the book start out like other games I've tried from them. You simply begin at the beginner level and work your way up. Each level gets more challenging and fun as you go along. 

The PathWords game by ThinkFun runs for around $20 on Amazon. You could give this as a gift to those in your family who love playing games and love a challenge. This is not only a fun gift but also one that keeps your brain active and working. 

I highly recommend this game for those who love word searches and are fans of that old favorite Tetris. If you love a challenge, check out ThinkFun's wide variety of games for your brain fitness. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Stronger Taranda Review And Giveaway!!

Music has always been in my blood. From the time I was old enough to sit with my Mama at the piano, I have been singing and learning. I started playing when I was close to 6 years old and now play on the praise and worship team at my church. To say music is big to me is probably an understatement.

Music helps me get through daily life. It helps me to relax when things are crazy. There's nothing like putting on some music, dancing around the house and literally feeling the grumpies leave you. It helps lift my spirits. It wakes me up and makes me want to move!

I even work to music. Is it just me or does music help you focus better? I have it in the background and it's like my brain can focus in on the task at hand. To me, it just makes you feel ten times lighter, better and happier to have some music going in your background.

Recently I got the chance to check out the new CD Stronger by TaRanda. I have so thoroughly enjoyed this CD from  Family Christian and it would make a great gift this Christmas season.

This is a great album to have playing in the background, foreground, wherever you need some inspirational and uplifting music. I have had it playing with me as I work and have enjoyed hearing her for the first time. Her songs bring hope and inspiration and include titles such as:

  • Stronger
  • Shackles
  • A Little More Jesus 
  • Healer
TaRanda has been on the Gaither Homecoming tours and has had featured vocals with Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. I love the songs on her new album and how they can uplift you and remind you that with Christ, you are stronger!

I got the chance to learn a little about TaRanda's story and it is amazing. To see what God has brought her through and to listen to her heart on this CD was such a blessing. 

You can check this album out at Family Christian and also you can enter to win a copy today!!! Check out the giveaway below and see what I'm talking about. 

What's your favorite music to work/relax/unwind to?