Sunday, February 23, 2020

Review: She Laughs-Choosing Faith over Fear by Carolanne Miljavac

Carolanne Miljavac talks in her book about the fact that we will fail in life at some point. It's not IF, but rather WHEN.  It all boils down to trust and whether you trust that God has you even when you do fail. In her book She Laughs-Choosing Faith over Fear she shares with us how she has used laughter to help her in difficult times.  One of the quotes that I loved from the books is "She laughs without fear of failure because she knows in time, He'll reveal His purpose." Carolanne didn't grow up with a silver spoon in her mouth, but yet has used the tough times to learn when and how to lean on God. 

This book really touched me because we all go through tough times in our lives. This book reminded me to have faith and remember to laugh because often times that laughter can help push us through the dark times more than we can even imagine. 

"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Week Ending 2/21/2020

Happy Saturday!! The last few weeks have been super busy and next week will be even busier! We are suppose to be moving at the end of the week and there is still so much to be done for us to move. We will be living there for quite some time with many projects still to finish, but at least we'll be in and no longer going back and forth. I was able to polyurethane our bedroom floor this week and today I got the walls painted. My husband was working on the kitchen tile when I left and I imagine he was going to have a long night ahead of him. One of the hardest parts of this situation has been how our youngest deals with it. I think he's scared to move because this is the only home he's really known. He doesn't seem to be able to communicate that therefore he calls the house stupid, says he doesn't want to move there, we are all mean to him etc. It makes for a stressful situation even harder. I did manage to finish up some books this week :)

The Network by L.C. Shaw

The Network (Jack Logan #1)

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Royal Holiday (The Wedding Date, #4)

Where Courage Calls

Where Courage Calls (Return to the Canadian West #1)

Issac and have been reading several books in our schooling that we'll be reviewing soon as well. School right now is kind of hit or miss. We take it with us and he might get to work on it and he might not. At this point any reading that we do or anything he helps with at the house is all schooling in my mind :) Have a great week!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Week Ending 2/15/2020

This week has been hard, hectic, tiring and I'm glad it's over! We are suppose to be moving within the next two weeks and the house we are moving into still has much work to be done! Issac typically has ABA Therapy three days a week, but his therapist was sick this week. I felt bad for her, but it helped us by allowing us all to go to the other house each day to try and help my husband. Issac mostly played outside and tried to stay away from the work, but that is ok because he is struggling with the move. This is the only home he's known and the move has been so long coming that he has struggled with it all. I think once we are settled he'll be happy, but for now he's still struggling. I worked on unpacking any boxes that I could for the closets and just relooking through boxes of school stuff to see if I want to keep it all still :)

One thing that happened this week that was very hard was that our daughter had a car accident on the way home from class. Thankfully nobody was injured, her car was the only one involved, but her vehicle is totaled :( Right now that is not what we needed, but then again it never is for families. Her school schedule, her work schedule our schedule with the move etc. makes it hard to share a car. This is just one of those times to be thankful that she is fine and figure out how to move forward :)

Caleb's Crossing            Defeating the Child Obesity Epidemic: A Pediatrician (and Mom) Tells How to Fight Fat, Save Your Children          30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family         The Shack

I didn't get hardly anytime to read this week, but did manage to finish a few books I had started.  I've been trying to work on my Goodreads list and working from those books I added when I first started using the site back in 2011. I love my library and that's about the only way I get books to read unless it's something I receive to review.  If my library doesn't have it I move on to the next book on the list. I guess I'll eventually take the books off my list that the library doesn't have because I struggle to pay full price for books not knowing if I'll even remotely like them (LOL) One of the books on my list was 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family I'm not exactly why I had this book on my list. When it arrived from the library I thought it said 30 ways to save $30!! (LOL) I skimmed this book and decided I didn't have any interest in reading it, so put it back in the library bad and removed it from my Goodreads pile. I've gotten to a point in my life where I'm not going to push through a book if I'm just not getting some type of joy from it.  I did push through Caleb's Crossing and am not sure I'm glad if I did or not. There was something about the book that kept me reading, but in the end I wasn't a huge fan of it.  I also finished Defeating the Child Obesity Epidemic and felt that was a good book. Our kids aren't as active as they could be and especially when you have a child that deals with any special needs they often seem to struggle with weight even more. I finally finished The Shack and found it interesting to hear what everyone else had thought about it. I had forgotten there was lots of controversy surrounding this book when it first came out.  I also received two NEW books in the mail this week to read and review.  daring to live and Praying Women Both looks to be great books and I've excited to read them. I have several books that need to be read and reviews written, but I also got such a huge pile from that library that I'm struggling to read them all. I guess there could be worse problems in my world ;)

         Praying Women: How to Pray When You Don't Know What to Say                                                                Daring to Live: How the Power of Sisterhood and Taking Risks Can Jump-Start Your Joy

Tuesday, February 4, 2020


Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. 

As each of our children have grown older they've all gotten to the point where they want to do school on the computer verses traditional has come up with a great way to help homeschooling families allow their children to try their school on the computer without the usual expense that comes along with computer type programs. We've had a membership for years, but I'll be honest that I've really never thought about the fact that we could use the site for ALL of our classes. It's grown so much over the years and sadly I think I just didn't realize what a great value for our family this program has become.  They now have OVER 400 courses from PreK-Highschool.

 Recently the kids and I have really been putting forth the effort to streamline some of their subjects. I have to admit that we tend to jump around sometimes and not just stick with what we started.  The  Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership that is offered has so many options and we have been enjoying just trying out any program that seems interesting.  That's one of the great benefits of this program is that you can try anything you like all for one price.

Our oldest is a senior this year and the way I had planned her English out for the year didn't quite work out.  I really needed something to finish up the year and when I was browsing the options for 12th grade English I immediately saw something I knew would be a great fit for my daughter.

When I saw the African American Literature course that was offered I knew instantly that would be a great fit for her and would carry her through the end of her senior year.  I love the way these programs are set up because they are set up to make things easy for us moms as well as our students! There are sections for Getting Started, Course Outline, Course Sample, More About This Course, Transcript Information and Affiliate Banner.  Pretty much anything you need to help get you started is in one of those sections.  There is also a great Quick Start Area that gives you the following

Quick Start

1.  Bookmark the course for easy access during instruction.

2. Click “View Lesson Plan” as available and organize as desired (on computer desktop or in a printed format). Lesson Plans for all courses coming soon.

3.  Gather necessary resources, found on page 2 of the lesson plan.

4.  Click “Go to Class Lessons” and get started.

5.  Enjoy the course!

6.  Utilize Applecore or your own record keeping system throughout the course.

7.  Print a certificate of completion.

Need help? Check out our tutorials or click the live chat box in the corner of your screen.

Here is an idea of the lessons that my daughter is working through.  

Lesson 1: Introduction 
  Lesson 2: Unit 1 - Oral Traditions and Spirituals 

 Lesson 3: Interpreting Spirituals  


 Lesson 4: Unit 2 - North American Slave Narratives

 Lesson 5: William W. Brown 

 Lesson 6: Perspectives of William W. Brown 

Lesson 7: David Walker and John Day 
 Lesson 8: Writings of Walker and Day 

 Lesson 9: Frederick Douglass 

Lesson 10: Francis Ellen Watkins Harper 
 Lesson 11: Phillis Wheatley 

 Lesson 12: Unit 3 - Reconstruction to New Negro Renaissance 
 Lesson 13: Unit 4 - Harlem Renaissance 
 Lesson 14: Elements of Poetry 

 Lesson 15: Unit 5 - Modernism and the Civil Rights Era
 Lesson 16: Unit 6 - The Black Arts Movement 
 Lesson 17: Readings and Reflections 
 Lesson 18: Unit 7 - Contemporary 

We both really like the clickable links in the lesson, so that everything she needs to work on is at her fingertips. has also come up with the ability to bookmark each class for the individual students. That way they have easy access and know all the classes they are suppose to work through.  The World Book Resources that are included are amazing as well.

Our youngest is in 7th grade, but has some special needs that often make picking and choosing his classes difficult. One of the first things I did was check out the Scope and Sequence section. You can view by subject or grade to get a better idea of what your child could be working through.  My son has developed a love for history and seems to do well memorizing things related to history, but when it comes to math and history things are more difficult.  He's currently reading a book in our homeschool co-op that he wanted to continue studying that time frame at home. had a great variety of areas to study, but ultimately American History for Beginners fit in so well that it was the winner for us.  Here you can see some of what he is working through:

He has really been enjoying working on the computer. We've had a little more of a learning curve to work through than his sister because he seems to move a little too quickly and not follow the lesson plan. I've had to spend a little more time with him showing him how to find the bookmark session, but he understood after a little time.  This might be one of my favorites parts of the program because he knows which classes are his and they are all together.  

I love how the lesson plans are written because it's very easy to follow and the kids can do it on their own once they understand how to maneuver around.  

Another thing that is great about is that you can plan an entire program for your child and base it on their individual needs. I could stay strictly in seventh grade for my son or I can pick and choose based on his needs.  Writing has been a struggle for us and through the Scope and Sequence I found Sparking the Noggin: Creative Writing with Pictures and thought that might be exactly what my son needed. He's not very attentive to details and I thought slowing down and working on the pictures and describing them might just be what he currently needed. I really like this program even though he's still trying to rush through the lessons. Once again it's at our pace, so I can let him do it on his own and then go back and point out some details that maybe he didn't notice. It's an easy gong program that I think will greatly benefit him.  

The typical lesson starts with a picture like above. The students are suppose to write what they see and try to be as detailed as possible. My son would typical write that there is a man, he's in a room and has a hat. I try to then go in and discuss with him what he sees, talking about colors, shapes, etc.

There are so many options at that I could never tell you all of them. There are classes for parents, the literacy center to help with reading, lots and lots of planners and printables to help you organize your life, there is a video library that I enjoyed quite a bit.  You can go back and watch the Schoolhouse Expos, check out the monthly menus and even read The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  There are also Focused Learning Centers that help you if you and/your child need to focus in a specific area. All the information you need for all the grades are right there at your fingertips. I want to give a shout out to customer service because they are amazing! I had to message them the other day and through the chat link that is always at the bottom right hand section of the page I instantly had a representative that helped me. It was as simple as I needed to log out and log back in to my account, but she was great about it.  

I think as our kids get older we are always looking to help them be more independent in their schoolwork.  Using the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from is a great way to allow them that independence.  It's also a money saver for the family because you are paying the one price for the option of over 400 classes and we all know that if we purchased those classes individually it would be an insane about of money.  Also there is the option of paying once a year or monthly which makes it work for however your family needs it to work. I know that each family is different, so that's what is so great about the Homeschool Review Crew. We all have different family structures and opinions, so I recommend checking out the other reviewers and see what classes they chose for their family and what their favorites were from 

Online Homeschooling For the Whole Family { Reviews}

Monday, February 3, 2020

What I'm reading this week

The problem with having multiple piles of books in your house is that you can lose the book you are reading!! I had started this book a few weeks ago and then thought I lost it. Turned out it was in the pile TBR at the computer table (LOL) I'm aiming to finish it this week :)

This is a book that Issac and I are reading for a review, so I don't think we'll finish it this week. We started today and so far I'm really enjoying the book.

I hate to even think about this topic, but it's becoming more an more of an issue every day.  I was drawn to this cover and so far it's been hard to put down. 

So far this book has a little mystery and a little romance which I always find is a good combination :)

This is my "purse" book at the moment. I haven't gotten much of it read because I really haven't been anywhere lately to read. I might have to snatch it out of my purse and read it because it's started out to be a very interesting book so far.  

I've got quite a few books on here for the week, so we'll see how much reading time I actually get :)

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Week Ending 1-25-2020

I have to admit that I'm very thankful this week is over. Some weeks go by so smoothly and others just don't (LOL) I think this week was extra long because we were without internet.  I'm like everyone else and miss internet when it's out, but this week it affected our schooling. That's when it frustrates me more than anything :( My daughter wasn't able to do her English and my son struggled with his Math because of it. Thankfully they were able to finally get here Friday and we were quickly back in business ;) As for me dealing with no internet I did what I do best.  I worked on my library pile (LOL) I've had a book sitting in my pile since before Christmas that a friend lent me. For some reason I thought it was one of those books I really needed to "focus" on when reading and therefore I kept putting it off (LOL) I picked it up this week and it was AMAZING!! I highly recommend Educated by Tara Westover to everyone. I'm even going to try and convince my daughter to read it! It's truly an amazing story and touched me personally as we homeschool.  I also started and finished Jigsaw by Ted Miller Brogden.  I struggled a bit in the early parts of this book, but the description on the back kept pulling me back in to the book. I'm glad that I pushed through and read it because I did enjoy the story.  I also checked out some great recipes in Skinny Italian by Teresa Giudice. She's got some really good recipes in there and lots of tips about whether you should use fresh or dry herbs.  Last but not least I started The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie I LOVED Little House as a girl and I have to admit even now still enjoy the books. As hard as I tried my daughter had NO interest in them and it broke my heart :( Maybe one day I'll be able to read them with my grandchildren and they'll have the same interest I always have had.

I had big plans for today in cleaning, laundry, etc. I went to the library and then came home and got caught up in all the new books that I picked out.  I did manage two loads of laundry, but that's about it. Sometimes you just need coffee and a good book to get over the rough week.

Review: She Laughs-Choosing Faith over Fear by Carolanne Miljavac

Carolanne Miljavac talks in her book about the fact that we will fail in life at some point. It's not IF, but rather WHEN.  It all boil...