July 17, 2019

Simply Music: Online Piano Lessons for All Ages {Product Review}

I have been playing the piano for 35 years. I taught piano for about 10 years. But in that time I haven't had "time" to teach my own children. I have one son who isn't interested at all, so I haven't pushed it. My youngest son, however, is more drawn to learning music. When we had the chance to review Simply Music and their Music & Creativity - Foundation Course, I decided it was the perfect time to get him started.

About the Program


Simply Music was created to offer students of all ages the ability to learn music and to love music without the traditional approach of music reading first. Designed to immediately immerse the

July 7, 2019

Upcoming Reviews for July and August 2019


Well, it is official that we are in the HEAT of summer here on the farm! Wowza are we having a "real" Kentucky summer this year. But when you have fields and fields of hay, that's an excellent thing. LOL. Summer is my husband's favorite season because he can get the most down on the farm. I don't really mind it myself since I have the blessed invention of an Air Conditioner to help me manage! LOL. Because it is summer, we are technically on a summer school break. But if you have been readers for awhile, you know that we review homeschooling product all year long--which means there are still a few school items in house for us to dabble in over the summer. Today I'm going to catch you up with what we've got in house for July and August. It really is a mix of things, including some we most likely will continue into the new school year.

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

UPCOMING REVIEWS FOR JULY 2019


1. Music and Creativity-Foundation Course, Simply Music
This is a program I was very curious about as soon as I heard about it. It's a completely online piano lesson program! As a former

July 4, 2019

Happy 4th of July!!

From our farm to yours--
Happy 4th of July!
We'll be spending it at a state park for the afternoon, and then come home for dinner, movie, chasing fireflies, playing tag, and lighting sparklers. 
It's a wonderful day to be an American and able to celebrate our freedom!
*****

June 27, 2019

Matific Galaxy ~ Encouraging Math Mastery Through Games {Product Review}

I have a math-loving child. He cannot get enough math and is always asking for more. I have tried several math websites, and while they were very good, they weren't "gamey" enough to keep his attention for an extended time. I also was looking for something which could review a broad spectrum of skills, and encourage mastery. When we were asked to review a one-year subscription to Matific Galaxy, an online math resource, it initially looked like it could fit the bill of what I was wanting. Join me today to learn what our official opinion is on this math mastery promoting the online resource.

About the Product


Matific Galaxy is an award-winning, fun and engaging online learning program. It has hundreds of curriculum aligned mathematics

Summer Break is Hay Season

Woot! It is hard to believe but we are in 100% summer mode now! Unlike some homeschoolers, summer doesn't necessarily mean freedom--we ARE a farm family. Summer means an increase of farm work! Remember when you learned that the old school years revolved around the agricultural cycle for the area? Yeah, that's basically us! We take a break from school when the hay season starts and then go back to school once the last cutting is in.

Everything we do here on the farm revolves around hay season during the summer. We have over 200 acres of hay to take care of. This means as soon as it is ready and there are several days in a row of rain-free days? We rev the tractors up and head on out!

So how does it work with still doing product reviews? That's easy. If we still have reviews to finish, we do them in the morning directly after breakfast. That's the best time as the men are still working out the plans for the day. By this point into our fifth year of being on the review crew, I know how much to ask for. This summer is working out to be perfect--only a couple things to review for each boy. Way less pressure to get stuff done, and more time to be out and farming!

I'll be sharing what we are reviewing for July and August in a few days...it's not much, but it is VERY good stuff! Until then--stay cool!

June 20, 2019

Summer Storms and pop up...tornadoes?

We had a surprise tornado on the evening of June 16th. My family was in Cincinnati celebrating my brother's marriage...meanwhile, it was a turbulent sunset on the farm. Fortunately, we didn't experience more than a few tree tops snapped. But all around us, there were power poles down. Telephone wires across the road. The hillside looked like a weedeater had plowed a straight line. We spent some time doing cleanup at my inlaws and my parents' homes where they had much more tree debris than we did.

Puppy helped grabbed branches
I had to crawl in the culvert to clear out a bunch of debris...
the next day this was filled to the brim due to another storm
Youngest was great about dragging branches
Cleaning off her fence
Some tree branches--gone at My father-in-laws 
More branches down and a yard pond
Wenching out the limb from the culvert
Using the SawsAll to chop up the larger treetops
Hauling away one of the branches
Thankfully, our power was out for only 12 hrs. We didn't sustain any damage as the tornado went through town instead of veering off, however, there is a LOT of tree damage. Fortunately, only two homes experienced serious damage. They categorized it as an EF0, simply because it kept bouncing around and not staying steady on the ground. But man, chippers and chainsaws have been the sounds during the day, and the scent of "campfire" during the evening as people burn their debris. 

June 19, 2019

The Kingdom Code ~ Money Management God's Way {Product Review}

My oldest son is thirteen and VERY conscious of the benefit that having his own money provides. We have provided him with some one-on-one lessons, but sometimes we wished there was something more organized that he could work through to increase his money management skills. When we were given the chance to review The Complete Starter Set from The Kingdom Code, I hoped that it would provide an excellent financial responsibility course. 

About the Product

The Kingdom Code teaches children how to make and manage money through Godly principles. Designed for students in grades 4-6, it works perfectly for homeschool families, Co-ops, Private Schools, and church groups. The Complete Starter Kit includes the Textbook, Student

June 13, 2019

Exploring 8th Grade Lightning Lit & Comp from Hewitt Homeschooling {Curriculum Review}

As I look ahead to our 8th-grade year for my oldest son, I really wanted a strong literature curriculum for him. I needed it to be fairly independent as we start preparing him for High School work. I also wanted to incorporate some literature analysis but in such a way as to not make it a chore to do. Additionally, I wanted to find something which had composition incorporated in it—but a style where my son (a reluctant writer) wasn’t going to balk at every lesson. I have looked all around and about gotten dizzy exploring the different curriculum available. But one stood out above the others that I wanted to explore more—the Grade 8 Lightning Lit Set from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources. Needless to say, I was overjoyed when I was given the chance to review the very course I was looking at. Join me to today as I share our review of this course and find out if we will be continuing it for our 2019-2020 year or not…

About the Product

Hewitt Homeschooling is an award-winning homeschool curriculum for language arts. Based in Washougal, WA (my old hometown!), they provide a wide range of literature and composition

June 12, 2019

Thinking Pink and Baby {Wordless Wednesday}

I'm in the middle of getting ready for adding THREE babies to our extended family--2 nieces and a nephew--due July and September. I've not had the need to make baby girl things, until now! Now I'm on a mission to make baby girl goodness for my nieces to wear those first few months. And my photo for today shows my most favorite thing I've made thus far!



These are both patterns from my most favorite designer Mon Petit Violon on Etsy and Ravelry! Her patterns are the BEST! 

June 11, 2019

The Wars of the Jews from Memoria Press {Curriculum Review}

I have had the chance to work with Memoria Press materials several times over the last five years of reviewing. Their products are always a highlight to what we use, and we have incorporated several of them into our regular curriculum. One area that I have not had much experience in, however, is their high school level material, due to my children still being in elementary and middle school. I was able to explore one of their high school curricula when I was asked if I could look over and review The Wars of the Jews Set. Being that this is a historical event that I’ve had a growing curiosity about, I eagerly agreed to look it over myself. 

About the Product

Memoria Press is an award-winning classical Christian education publisher. They carry a full line of curriculum and

June 8, 2019

Sabbath Scriptures and Inspiration

Hello and happy Saturday--and happy Sabbath to those who keep it. ❤ It's been awhile since I've shared some of the graphics that I've made to match scriptures, so I thought I would add a few of my most recent ones--most of them made the last couple weeks.

During a sermon from last week, our pastor mentioned a fantastic phrase which got me thinking. I did some searching on the original source and discovered it came from the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I just HAD to make graphic.

Another scripture which is a surprisingly encouraging passage is Exodus 2:24-25. At first glance it doesn't seem like it is--but when you take it apart and look at the verbs used, you realize that it can describe what we hope God does for us. Just think, this is what is written after 400 years of slavery in Egypt--we see that God hears, remembers, looks, and acknowledges His people. In HIS time. He fulfilled His promise and His plan. We too can count on God to do the same for us.
 On the way home from the store, I was listening to KLove. While listening I heard something interesting. The segment was about how all too often we say Christ is the King of our hearts...yet our lips don't reflect this. That our speech doesn't support this. That our lips don't spend enough time praising God and giving Him glory. And I had to think of my own mouth.
 Finally today we heard a lovely lesser-known scripture that hides in the minor prophet of Zephaniah 3:17. I just LOVED the words that were in it and I had to make a graphic to go with it. 

*****

June 4, 2019

Life With Dog: A family movie from Mill Creek Entertainment {Movie Review}

I’m always on the lookout for good family movies. And if they have animals as a character, that’s a win in our house. When I had the chance to review Life with Dog from Mill Creek Entertainment, I hoped that it would be one the whole family would enjoy.

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

About the Movie

Life with Dog follows Joe, a newly widowed man who is rapidly descending into bitterness following the death of his beloved wife of 43 years. Alice died in a tragic accident just a little ways from home

June 2, 2019

Fresh from the Bookshelf: Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden {Book Review}

Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden is one of those books I don’t think I’d ever intentionally grab off a shelf to read. While it is classified as an inspiration fiction novel, it neither has the typical cover I’m attracted to, nor the setting I prefer (historical fiction). Fortunately, having it sent directly to my house for me to review made it possible for me to discover this fabulous book that I would have otherwise missed. Join me as I introduce you to the Talbot sisters…

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

About the Book

Becoming the Talbot Sisters is written primarily from two different points of view: Waverly and Charlie Talbot. Waverly and Charlie are twin sisters who couldn’t be more different in personality and life choices. Waverly is a celebrity chef who has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Charlie is

May 31, 2019

Fresh from the Bookshelf: The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay {Book Review}

It's been a little while since I've shared a book review with you, so I thought a nice rainy day like today was a good day to do it! As usual, I have books coming and going all the time and some are worth mentioning and some are a hard pass. I read all types of books, and one area that I find lacking overall, are books with characters who have handicaps or mental illnesses. I was pleasantly surprised to discover such a book in The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay. Join me today as share my review of this book I received from the Thomas Nelson Fiction Guild.


The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

About the Book

The Austen Escape follows the life of Mary Davies, an engineer in a small firm who has hit a brick wall with her job thanks to an

May 29, 2019

Supercharged Science ~ Revisiting an Old Friend {Curriculum Review}

Five years ago, I was introduced to a science curriculum which was much loved by my oldest son. It brought together his audio/visual learning style with intense scientific study. He loved the experiments and we were sad when our subscription ran out. Needless to say when Supercharged Science popped up in our crew review list again this year, BOTH my boys were eager to give the e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum another go! Join me now as I share my review of this full hands-on science curriculum.

About Supercharged Science

Supercharged Science is an e-Science online science curriculum created to generate a LOVE of science in your children. There are NO textbooks. No boring long ridiculous information about the cosmos. Instead, you get fun videos

May 26, 2019

Upcoming Reviews for June/July 2019: What Are Our Summer Reviews?

Summertime! Well, maybe not quite yet...but soon! Here in our homeschool, we finish all of our regular daily school stuff and then only do review products throughout the summer. We don't know what we'll have in any given summer--sometimes we have a lot of regular curriculum like stuff (English, math, etc), but sometimes we get quick and easy things (movies, games, etc). So what is in the work so far for our summer reviews? Here's the rundown of what we've got to work on and when you can expect to see the reviews go LIVE.

UPCOMING REVIEWS FOR JUNE 2019


1. Life with Dog, Mill Creek Entertainment
Here's a little blurb about this movie: After losing his wife Alice (Marilu Henner) in a mysterious bike accident, Joe Bigler (Corbin Bernsen) is left alone without faith to help him grieve. That and the circumstances of Alice's accident leave more questions than answers, and Joe begins a fast descent into the dark abyss of uncertainty. But his salvation arrives when a dog wanders into his garden and won't leave despite Joe's many attempts to rid him. Without so much as a single bark, "Dog" as Joe has named him, shares his voice; a deep love and comfort that Joe has never experienced before. With Dog's love comes the discovery of God's love, and a faith that not only helps Joe toward the road to recovery, but also the unsolved mystery surrounding his wife's accident, and the ability to finally grieve her passing. Our Review of this movie will go LIVE June 3, 2019.

May 23, 2019

Typing Tournament Online and Math Invaders Online from EdAlive {Product Review}

EdAlive: Typing Tournament and Math Invaders Online {Produce Review}
As we've done homeschooling over the years, there is one thing that I have learned about my boys--they really enjoy online programs. We limit our screen time in general, but if they have an online resource they are told to work on, they typically do it without asking. Therefore, when I had the chance to review two online apps from EdAlive, I was pretty confident without even asking them that the boys would be happy to work on them. Today I'm going to be sharing about the Typing Tournament Online and Math Invaders Online and what the boys actually thought about them. 

About the Product

EdAlive is an educational apps program developer based out of Australia. They have a long list of apps under their belt including Typing Tournament Online and Math Invaders Online

May 22, 2019

Baby Girl Crochet Goodies {Wordless Wednesday}

I'm really meaning to post a few Adventures in Crochet posts since it has been awhile since my last one. I also have something super exciting coming up relating to crochet. But for today, I'm just going to share a couple little crochet dresses I recently made for my soon-to-arrive two nieces being born in June and September!



*****
These were made with the same pattern. The top one is for 3-6 months, the bottom is for 0-3 months. I love the bottom one the most. I plan on making a few more of these kind of dresses--because I'm finally getting girls to pamper! LOL!

May 21, 2019

God is Better Than Trucks by Sarah Reju {Book Review}

God is Better Than Trucks {Book Review}I am always on the lookout for books to snag for my nieces and nephews—and not just your run of the mill ones. I’m always looking for beautifully illustrated books which also are a delight to read. If they have a biblical message, that’s even better! Needless to say, I was very curious to read and review God is Better than Trucks from Christian Focus to see if it is worth adding to our collection. Today I’d like to share my review with you!

About the Book

God is Better than Trucks is written by Sarah Reju and illustrated by Roger De Klerk. It is an A-Z Alphabetical book which teachers about Ambulances, Bulldozers, Car Carriers to the Zamboni and shares about how God is better than all of them. The theme of the book centers around how all of these vehicles are super cool and can do amazing things, but how our God is even better than the most awesome vehicle.

May 15, 2019

Mother's Day at Fort Boonesborough {Wordless Wednesday}

We had the pleasure of enjoying Mother's Day at Fort Bonnesborough with my parents, my husband, and my brother with his fiance! We had a simply wonderful time exploring the former home of the American hero Daniel Boone. I love living so close to so many historically important locations!
Here are some photos from our adventure!


Watching how an heirloom 18th century loom worked.

Measurements used during this time period


More fiber work! Learning how they used a drop spindle and did spinning

The blacksmith making a candle holder
I especially loved speaking with the women who specialized in fibers and medicinal herbs. I would have bought some of the handspun yarn if they had made the ones I wanted for purchase. But I loved squishing it. And I loved seeing them doing the natural dyes. The boys got hand made candle holders from the blacksmith. 
My mom and dad absolutely love it! It was the perfect day for Mother's Day!

May 14, 2019

Nothing by Natalee Creech {Children's Book Review}

It can be a challenge at times to find children's books which are not only rich in text, but also biblically based AND beautiful to look at. I don't like to get your run of the mill books as gifts, so I am always looking for something exceptional. Enter Nothing by Natalee Creech, a book I was given to review by WorthyKids, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. From the moment I laid my eyes on it, I had a feeling it was going to pass my test. Join me as I share my review of this illustrated children's book today!

About the Book

Nothing by Natalee Creech is an absolutely gorgeous book! The rich blue on the cover grabs your eye and makes you want to open it. Opening it, you will discover a beautifully illustrated children's book that emphasizes the amazing love of God. Based on Romans 8:38-39, the book shows the reader how there is no place anywhere in creation that can take you out of the realm of the love of God, but also that there is nothing that you could do which would make Him stop loving you.