December 29, 2019

Pressure Cooker for Beginners: A Upcoming Series

Hello and happy almost end of 2019! I cannot believe we are so close to actually seeing the year 2020! Where are our space cars and jet packs? While we may not have the things we fell in love with from the old Jetsons cartoon, we do have some fabulous new things to enjoy! One of these is the much-beloved and hot item---the electric pressure cooker!! 

I would not be surprised to learn that many of you out there have recently added one to your collection—whether as a gift or because someone convinced you to jump on the bandwagon! I also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of you look at it on the counter and wonder—what next? 

December 15, 2019

Ahem...tap...tap...tap...Hello?

Wow. It's been almost a month since my last blog post! I didn't mean for that to happen...but Thanksgiving arrived and I just sort of took an impromptu hiatus from blogging! But, now the year is wrapping up and I'm looking forward to getting a new schedule in place! 

Although my blog won't be focused on homeschool review products this year, I do hope to get back to other things like recipes, crocheting, homeschooling in general, book reviews, and just opening up about stuff! I also want to try to feature some guest posts this year in most of those areas too! 

Thanks for sticking with me this far! 
Here's to a shockingly close arrival of the year 2020!


November 21, 2019

Taking Literature Further with LitWits Kits {Product Review}

LitWits Kits {Product Review}
I love teaching literature and I especially love teaching it in a unit study style. The challenge is finding a program that does all the "hard work" for providing hands-on projects as well as literature comprehension work. This is especially true for me when I took on the new role of teaching a literature class at my co-op to ages 12-16. It was a small group and I wanted to offer them more than the typical read and discuss literature experience. I had eyeballed several programs in the past, including a lesser-known resource called LitWits. Imagine my joy when I had to chance to review the LitWit Kits! I finally decided on My Side of the Mountain, The Phantom Tollbooth, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, and Around the World in Eighty Days. I really hoped it would be just what I was looking for to take our literature studies further and make them more meaningful and enjoyable for all!

About the Product

LitWits Kits are a product from LitWits. These are online literature kits that help you bring beloved classics and modern books to life. These kits help teach literature into kids "in hands-on, fun, and meaningful ways." A LitWits Kit is a web paged devoted to bringing a book to life with unique ideas and downloadable activities, as well

November 5, 2019

Change is In the Air...

It is so hard to believe that it has officially turned into November for 2019. I cannot believe that the year 2020 is actually on the horizon! November signals the end of all our busy summer activities here on the farm as we shift to preparing for Winter, including separating out the calves. It never really and truly slows down--activities simply change.

But for me, I've made a decision that will help me slow down a little. 

October 30, 2019

Adventures in Crochet ~ Temperature Blanket Update

I just wanted to give you a glimpse into the status of my year-long crochet project--my Temperature Blanket CAL (crochet-a-long) for 2019! If you remember, this is a project where there are twelve different patterns--one for each month of the year. Each pattern makes a stripe about 6" thick. You simply use the average hi and average lo and match those to a predetermined color graph to find your colors. Then the pattern will say "use your hi-color" or "use your low color" and you swap them back and forth. 
By doing this, even if your temperatures work out to be in the same range for the low and hi colors your texture and pattern will be different for each month. 

October 29, 2019

Channie's One Page A Day: 2 Digit Multiplication Practice {Product Review}

Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks {Product Review}
I was first introduced to Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks back in 2017, when we reviewed one of their One Page a Day Math workbooks. My math-loving son enjoyed it so much, that I knew I wanted to try another one if I ever had a chance. Well, we recently were given the One Page A Day 2 Digit Multiplication Practice (Grades 3-5) to review and today I'm going to share why I think these visual math workbooks are a must-have for any student!

About Channie's Workbooks

Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks was first created as a way to help the owner teach her own son. He was struggling learning handwriting and nothing was working for him. So Channie created a visual handwriting system and it worked like a charm! Now she has over 15 products available and they are being carried in many major retailers like Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and retail stores across 25 states! Something cool about the product--it's MADE IN THE USA!

October 24, 2019

Exploring Immersion Spanish with Excelerate SPANISH {Curriculum Review}

For the last several weeks we have been reviewing an immersion online Spanish curriculum from Excelerate SPANISH. The Excelerate SPANISH Streaming program offers Spanish 1 and Spanish 2. We aren't currently including a foreign language in our studies, so we decided to give Spanish 1 a try. Join me today as I share our review of the program designed to be a multi-sensory experience of learning a new language.

About the Program


Excelerate SPANISH offers engaging video lessons using skits, action sequences, hand gestures, and more to teach students of all ages! Designed to create a program that increases

October 23, 2019

Smartick~ A Math Program They Will Ask to Do {Product Review}

Smartick Online Math ~ Product ReviewMath is one subject that I NEVER have to cajole my youngest son to do. He will EAGERLY grab his books when it's time for math. Yeah, he's a bit weird. LOL. He loves combining his regular curriculum with online math resources. When we had the chance to review a subscription of Smartick, he was ready and willing to get started! Today I'm going to share how our review of the online math program went--and why we will continue to use it throughout the rest of our subscription period!

About the Product

Smartick is an online math resource that instructs and reinforces mathematic principles, logic, and reasoning through interactive and engaging games and activities. The program is designed to address your child's individual needs--looking beyond their age and grade. The program adapts to your child's learning style and they will improve their skills in just 15 minutes a

Sunrise and Sunset {Wordless Wednesday}

Beaches really do make some of the best sunrise and sunsets...






*****

October 17, 2019

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Series~ Part 3 {Book Review}

You can imagine the joy when I was able to let my youngest son know we were going to be reviewing the next two installments in his favorite series Secret of the Hidden Scrolls from WorthyKids Books! He was soooo bummed when he finished book #4, and I didn't have the next book ready to go. As soon as Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Shepherd's Stone (Book 5) and Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Lion's Roar (Book 6) arrived, he eagerly grabbed book #5 and disappeared. Would the next two books in the series be just as loved as the previous four? Join me today for our review of these latest installments in the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series by M. J. Thomas!

About The Product

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls book series is published by WorthyKids Books. This book series is geared for ages 6-9 and is biblical fiction. The series revolves

October 16, 2019

Family Time {Wordless Wednesday}

We have been absolutely loving the intense family time we've been able to have while attending the Feast of Tabernacles. We don't ever get this much intensive time with my husband, so we relish the chance to fill our love tanks! Here are some of my favorite shots from the week so far!




 And lest you think we are too normal....
I will have more photos to post later, but I just wanted to share my fave family posts thus far! We have a few more days left, so we are going to continue to soak up the Word of God, the sunshine, and the love!
*****

October 15, 2019

Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks~ Imagination in a Bag! {Product Review}

We are a hands-on family. We love anything that involves getting involved with a full sensory experience. We also love building blocks and anything the boys can manipulate into their imaginary world of construction and farming. We recently were given the Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks from Brain Blox to review—as soon as I saw the product, I had a feeling these were going to bring hours of enjoyment.

About the Product

Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks are 100% natural wooden building planks made from New Zealand pine wood. Because they are chemical-free, they are also non-toxic! This means that even the youngest and smallest in the family can safely enjoy these planks. The wooden planks are precision cut, thus making them the perfect building toy providing hours of endless enjoyment.

October 14, 2019

Brain Blox Fun Family Chess~ Making Chess "Easy Peasy" to Learn! {Product Review}

BRAIN BLOX Fun Family Chess ~ Product Review
Chess. When we first got married, I didn’t realize that my husband had played in the chess club. We tried playing together, but I just didn’t have the critical thinking skills to play…but really it was more that I could NEVER remember which piece was able to move where or how! Chess is a game that I really have been wanting to introduce to my kids—especially my math and critical thinking game lover—but it’s not really my forte. Enter our review of the Brain Blox Fun Family Chess set from Brain Blox. Claiming to be the “easy-peasy way to learn chess”, I really wondered if this was the answer to my how-do-i-teach-them-chess dilemma!

About the Product

Brain Blox Fun Family Chess is a very fun learn-as-you-play game designed to teach anyone from age 5-105 how to play chess. Chess is a great game for the mind, as it increases skills in so many areas

October 13, 2019

Greetings from Jekyll Island

A warm greeting from the gorgeous Georgia Isles! Our family is worshipping the Feast of Tabernacles with 700(ish) other brothers and sisters in Christ! We are having a simply amazing time with friends and family. The weather is so balmy and warm--even when we get a random rainstorm. Even though I'm away, I still have several reviews that I will be sharing over the course of the next 10 days--starting with three just this week! So stay tuned because some of these products we're much beloved in our house!

Have a marvelous week!

October 8, 2019

Atonement 2019


Praise be to God that Christ's blood shed for me and His resurrection to the right hand of our Father, allows me to be washed clean and so I can have a new life reconciled as a child of God! 
"𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘩 H𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘶𝘴, 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘵 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴, 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘶𝘴. 𝘔𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯, 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 H𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘥, 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘸𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 H𝘪𝘮. 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘧, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘸𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘧 H𝘪𝘴 𝘚𝘰𝘯, 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦, 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘥, 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 H𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦. 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘰, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘓𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘑𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘴 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵, 
𝗯𝘆 𝘄𝗵𝗼𝗺 𝘄𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁." 
(Romans 5:8-11)

May you and yours be blessed on this most holy Day of Atonement!


September 26, 2019

Adventures in Crochet~ Catching Up with Some Baby Stuff

I don't have nearly the time to crochet now that school has started again. Mostly because we are so busy once school is out. But I've tried to work on a few crochet projects to gift to my newly arrived nieces and nephew! Yep, it was a baby year and we added THREE babies to the clan--one in July and TWO in September, only 3 days apart! I LOVE crocheting baby stuff. I've already shared the outfit I made for my July niece. But today I'll show you what I did for my September niece and nephew!

Earlier in the summer, I worked on making this

September 25, 2019

Art History Comes Alive with HiGASFY! {Curriculum Review}

HiGASFY~ An Art History Video Series {Curriculum Review}I love art. I love history. I don't necessarily love art history. We have found that most art history is either too teacher dependent, or it's rather boring. We've tried a variety of programs and books. Some of the top named curriculums. Yet we've never "loved" it enough to keep doing it. Enter the HiGASFY Art History Video Series and their online art history lessons and curriculum bundles. For the last several weeks, we've been reviewing a 3-month subscription to the HiGASFY Art History Video Series and the boys are eager to share their thoughts on the new (to us) program.

About The Product

HiGASFY is an art history program with a “real” teacher via video lessons, hands-on activities, and much more that is designed to introduce students to the world of art history. The teacher (Mrs. Beth) and her assistant (a drop of paint named Gasfy), help the students explore the world of art through personable and interesting lectures that are shared like stories--hence the name "Have I Got A Story For You!".

September 20, 2019

Farm Science Review ~ An Agricultural Field Trip! {PHOTO HEAVY!}

My husband first went to the Farm Science Review nearly 20 years ago, when he was still in college training to be a John Deere Technician. He's never forgotten the experience, and for the last 13 years has been telling our children how he wished he could take them there. Well, it worked out that this year, everything fell perfect! And so we scheduled a family agricultural field trip to attend the 2019 Farm Science Review near Columbus, OH. 

What is the Farm Science Review?

September 17, 2019

Online Times Alive from City Creek Press {Product Review}

Online Times Alive Review
We first explored Online Times Alive by City Creek Press, Inc. back in 2017 when my youngest was just 6. He was only just starting his math adventures, yet picked up on it pretty quickly. Since then, however, he's gotten a little weak at some of his times-tables, especially the sixes. We recently had the chance to review the program for a second time and I wondered if we would be able to help him catch up and become stronger in those numbers.

About the Product

Online Times Alive is a program providing online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way.

September 12, 2019

Easy Grammar: Plus~ The Grammar Curriculum I Didn't Know I Was Looking For {Curriculum Review}

Grammar. We put a high priority on grammar instruction in our studies and I have used several different programs to teach it. We recently decided to leave one of our curriculum we've used for the last several years and I've been exploring other options--and getting rather overwhelmed. Fortunately, we were picked to review Easy Grammar: Plus from Easy Grammar Systems with my oldest son from a program that wasn't even on our radar! Getting to have it and actually use it helps so much in making a decision--so will we use Easy Grammar: Plus this school year? Join me in my review of this open-and-go grammar program geared for middle school students.

About the Product

Easy Grammar Systems provides award-winning grammar curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school students

September 11, 2019

Back-To-Homeschool with 8th and 4th Grade

Even though we have done review products a couple days a week during the summer, we OFFICIALLY jumped back into our full routine this week! It was BACK-TO-HOMESCHOOL and I can't believe that it is my NINTH year homeschooling! I never in a million years envisioned this for my family, but I can't imagine anything different now! 

September 5, 2019

200 Essential Reading Skills for Fifth Grade by Reading Eggs {Product Review}

Last September, we were able to review the 200 Essential Reading Skills for Third Grade from Reading Eggs. My son's skills have boosted significantly over the last year, and when we had the chance to review the workbooks again, we chose to go up to the 200 Essential Reading Skills for Fifth Grade to match the work that he's been doing on the online Reading Eggs program. The program provides short lessons to review and provide mastery of the common skills of reading. Today I'd like to share with you my review and why this program will be a part of our 2019-2020 curriculum for my nine-year-old. You also will be able to snag free 4 weeks of the online program for your family!

About the Product


200 Essential Reading Skills for Fifth Grade is based on the multi-award winning reading program

September 4, 2019

Apple Heaven

We have a system in the family that if you get a bumper crop of produce, anyone who helps process the fruit gets to also share in the labors. Needless to say, I was thrilled to help my mom process some apples that she had been given. We made jars of sliced apple slices which can be used for pies or fruit salad. We also used my Ninja blender to turn a second batch into apple sauce.

Music Appreciation for the Middle Grades from Zeezok Publishing {Curriculum Review}

By now most of you know that I'm a music lover. I am a former piano teacher and I teach music appreciation class at my local homeschool co-op. I am always on the lookout for new materials to make teaching this subject more easily to my own children or to others. I recently had the chance to review the Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades from Zeezok Publishing with my boys ages 9 and 13. Having already reviewed Book 1 in the series, I was curious to see how this one was laid out for the older students. Join me today as I share my review of this new music appreciation curriculum.

About the Product


Zeekok Publishing is an award-winning publisher of a wide range of materials for music, history,

August 31, 2019

A Pool Can Be Painful

So I know we are way late in getting a pool purchased and set up, but my husband was adamant he needed one, even if we only use it for like 4 weeks as the summer ends. Thankfully, a Kentucky summer can last into the end of September! So while others are closing theirs up Labor Day weekend, we will be praying for enough warm days to maximize our water bill for the 4500 gallons we filled it with! But with a pool can come some problems.

No.
Not a leak.
Not bugs.
Not algae.

August 27, 2019

Britfield & the Lost Crown ~ A New Adventure Series for the Middle Grades {Book Review}

My oldest son is a picky reader. He has discovered over the years that he has DEFINITE likes and dislikes for a book. More often than not, his dislikes tend to be in the fiction range. He's an avid reader of non-fiction and while he will read an occasional fiction, it HAS to be set in history. And it has to be exciting. So yeah--he's a picky reader. We were recently given a copy of the new adventure series Britfield & the Lost Crown by C.R Stewart. It is a middle school/young adult genre book, which meant it is ideal for my oldest son, who is presently thirteen. However, with his high demands for his books, would it pass the test? Join me today as I share HIS review of this book, and I'll let him tell you himself!

About the Book


Britfield & the Lost Crown is a new series from C.R. Stewart. Set in England, the book follows Tom and his best friend Sarah from behind the cruel walls of Weatherly Orphanage, to their daring

August 23, 2019

Scripture Word Art Revisited

Sometimes I like to doodle while I'm listening to a sermon on Friday evening or Saturday. I love creating scripture word art, especially if I haven't done it in awhile. I broke out the pens and my new botanical line art book I borrowed from the library and went to town. I think I'm going to have to buy myself a copy because I love it so much! You can see the little botanicals I added to these scriptures below. 
 Succulents are fun and simple to add to any word art.

This one is my favorite though. I love how the vines and flower worked with the scripture. I plan on working on some more of these. I love this book and want to try more of the botanicals in it.
(click to see it on Amazon)
Things are really picking up now as we gear up for our soft start for school with the beginning of homeschool co-op next week. I'm teaching THREE classes which is going to be hectic, but our numbers have jumped this year from 8 to 25 students! So that's very exciting and we are hoping for continued increasing of the numbers!

Have an awesome week! I'll be back next week with a book review. 


August 22, 2019

My School Year: An Online Homeschool Record Keeping Resource {Product Review}

My School Year Homeschool Record Keeping ~ A Review
For the last several weeks, I've been reviewing an Annual Membership Plan to My School Year Homeschool Record Keeping. Some of you may know from being readers of my blog for a while, that I am NOT a fan of digital planners, choosing to go with my handy-dandy paper planner and a pencil. BUT I will give new-to-me digital planners a try in hopes of maybe finding something that works the same way and with the same ease. Today I'm going to share with you the results of my review...did My School Year change my mind?

About the Product


My School Year Homeschool Record Keeping is designed for the busy homeschool parent. The program provides visual progress tracking with a "homeroom" (the whole term at a glance) as well as a