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Showing posts from August, 2017

Review: A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks

The older Issac has gotten the more interested he has become in history. He will get interested in one specific subject or area and tell us all the facts he's learned over and over again until we all know them as well. We have recently been working our way through An Overview of the 20th Century from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.

 Issac and I have been doing more lapbooks this last year and it seems to work well for for him.  He likes being able to give out short amounts of information and the mini booklets are just perfect for that.  Even though he's starting fifth grade he still struggles with writing. He's a big guy, but his hand strength isn't that great and it causes lots of issues with his writing.  I typically write in the booklets for him because he often writes so large and he gets frustrated fitting in what he wants to say.  I downloaded the book and looked through to see if I wanted to pre-print all the booklets. I decided that since there was basica…

First Week of School 8/26/2017

Monday was the first day back to school, so this week has been an adjustment (LOL) I typically try not to schedule anything the first few weeks, so that we can ease back into the swing of things! I had a kitten getting spayed on Monday, so the first day of school I was up and out of the house at 6:30 to drop the kitten off at the clinic.  Came back and we had homeade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing. I started the cinnamon roll tradition I believe when our oldest started kindergarten.  Some years we buy the tubes from the dairy section and some years I make them. I don't know if the kids care either way, but if I didn't have them they would ask.  It's not a big thing to do, but it's just one of those little traditions that we've done over the years.

 The day went pretty good.  Issac and I are working on a few things for upcoming reviews.  We worked in our An Overview of the 20th Century lapbook by A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.  Issac is really enjoying…

Thankful Tuesday 8/22/17

Another week that I'm late posting, BUT I really wanted to post what I was thankful for this week.  I'm super thankful for my children's friends and the kindness of strangers! Yesterday was our second day of school and I didn't want to leave the house, but I had to get to the bank. My plan was to be there when they opened at 8:30, but it was closer to 9:00 when I got there. I did my banking and drove across the street to get gas because I was on empty.  My youngest was with me and wanted to go in the gas station to get something. He told me he'd locked his door and went on inside. I finished pumping my gas and went to open the van door and it was LOCKED!! I normally keep my door open, but yesterday had pulled too close to the pump and so it was closed. I never thought a thing when he said he'd locked his door. Not sure why he did it, but we were locked out and my cell phone was IN the van :(  I went inside and asked the clerk if I could use the phone because we…

Review: Everyday Homemaking

Chores has been something that has been hit or miss in our house. When my first child was born I included him in everything. He helped me around the house cleaning, cooking, etc.  When the second child was born we continued pretty much in the same manner. The third child was born early, spent some time in the hospital and then there were constant appointments and therapies. It seemed that somehow chores started falling away.  My oldest seemed the best equipped to do any chore or activity that was given to him.  My daughter was pretty good, but as she got older I realized there were some things we needed to work on more.  The youngest is the one that seemed the least capable of doing the chores required of him.  I've looked at several programs or systems, but they just never seemed to work well for us.  Enter in Everyday Homemaking and I think things are looking up!

The book, The Everyday Family Chore System, arrived nicely bound and just waiting to be put into use! I spent a fe…

Thanks Rush Revere!

We recently got to review the Adventures of Rush Revere books and Issac just loved them.  I had previously heard great things about the company and it just continues! I received a very nice note thanking me for my review and that they were so happy that we enjoyed the books. Yesterday UPS drops off a package from Rush Revere! Issac was so excited to open it and I have to tell you the package made his day! There was a lovely thank you card in there to us for reviewing the products.  We also got an audio cd for Brave Pilgrim, a wonderful cup and a stuffed LIBERTY!! That was the highlight for Issac. He slept with Liberty last night and again tonight. He introduced Liberty to "Tiger" and apparently they had issues yesterday, but are getting along today :)

If you haven't heard of these books or you want more info check out the Adventures of Rush Revere series.  There area also tons of fun activities here for the kids. They are truly trying to reach out to homeschool families …

Thankful Tuesday 8/16/2017

I know I'm a day late, but I still wanted to post :) This week I'm thankful for:

So thankful to have friends that listen and are so supportive.  I've had one of my friends since I was 15! We've birthed 5 children between the two of us, survived a cross country move as well as a move to another state.  Another dear friend I met when I was pregnant with Zachary.  We shared a love of books, General Hospital and Krispy Kreme donuts.  Other friends I've know for a few years or even less.  Some homeschool, some don't and some I've never even met in person. If not for the internet I wouldn't know some of these wonderful ladies.  They all bring a unique and special perspective to my life.  There have been good and bad times, but I'm so thankful for them all.  
Yesterday I got to spend time with two special friends. One was a planned visit where the moms got to talk as well as the kids hanging out. There was even a little Nerf war happening :) I picked up a …

Week Ending 8/19/17

Dragon Springs Road

A Hope Springs Christmas

Plain Admirer

Second Chance Proposal

Amish Christmas Joy

Review: The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Tessa Bauer believes she's in love with Hans, but he doesn't return that love.  He only has eyes for Betsy Zook.  Tessa wishes that Betsy will go away, so that she can have Hans for herself.  She never imagined that Betsy would be captured by Indians and taken away from them.  Hans is beside himself and because of his grief starts to do things he might not otherwise do. Tessa feels it's her fault that Betsy was taken.

Betsy struggles in her new life, but she is soon left in a place that changes all that for her. She is taken in, cared for and loved. As time goes on she starts to feel somewhat comfortable. During this time she makes a friend in Caleb. He ultimately becomes a larger part of her life than she could ever imagine.

Out of the blue Betsy reappears back at the Bauer home.  Everyone is amazed that she is alive and Hans feels like life will go back to what it was.  Nobody could imagine the turmoil within Betsy and the struggles she now feels on a daily basis.


Review: Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan

I truly enjoy reading books about times where life was much simpler.  In Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan we are transported back to a time where farming was deeply ingrained in most people's lives.  We meet Grace who has longed for a family, but with her husband having passed away she feels she's lost that chance.  She's trying to maintain the farm while caring for her ailing father.  It's a daily struggle and she just doesn't know how she'll make it.  She finally decides she must place an ad for help in the local mercantile.  As she enters the store she notices three unkept children that are eyeing the candy display.  She buys them each a stick of candy and wonders who they belong to.

Unbeknownst to her Robert Frasier has arrived in town with three children.  When he married he had no idea he was becoming a father to three children.  Now that his wife has passed he feels he's to take care of them. Not knowing he was going to be a father, having no exper…

Week Ending 8/12/17

Spent some time working on school this week and of course reading :) I know with school starting on the 21st that my reading time will be cut WAY down. I'm trying to finish the stack I have and somehow managed to request about 20 new books to add to it (LOL) This week I've read the following:

The Perfect Stranger

The Doctor's Blessing

An Amish Christmas

Plain Promise

Marshall's Law

A Reluctant Bride

A Road Unknown

I ordered the last thing that I needed for Brianna's school which was Wordly Wise 10 and the answer key.  I also ordered The Smart Alex Series: Reading Comprehension 4.  Issac's reading has really improved over the last year, but I still don't want to push him too much. He enjoyed the 180 Days of Reading Grade 4 that he did last year. When he did his CAT testing at the end of the year I paid an additional fee for curriculum recommendations. This is one that was recommended, so I figured we'd try it.  I've ALMOST decided to order Math Mammoth Grad…

UDN PEER Group's First Newsletter

I've written a few times about our experience with the Undiagnosed Disease Program.  Issac has been followed by a geneticist since he was one year old. When we moved to NC our new doctor had some different ideas and some different routes to take. While getting some information that didn't exactly give us answers we were invited to be one of the first to attend Duke's new Undiagnosed Disease Program.  We spent a week there and despite the 12+ tubes of blood taken, issues over an IV for a brain MRI and all the appointments Issac STILL asks when we get to go again!! That's my boy. He loves pretty much any appointment he has to go to and is always great even when he's not happy with them.

I was asked in late 2016 if I wanted to be part of a new PEER group to connect parents, patients and medical staff to help spread the word about the UDN.  I was very nervous about flying alone to Boston and meeting tons of people I didn't know, but I really wanted to be part of t…

Thanksful Tuesday 8/8/17

Today I'm thankful for my deep freezer! We bought it used, it's beat up and not very attractive. I can't imagine living without it! We are a family of 5, but we have had some kind of deep freezer since Carl and I got married. I just can't imagine life without one!! This is such an old freezer that I have to scrape the ice out every so often. Today I decided to do that and organize everything in it because it was getting messy.  It's not beautiful, but I love it and am truly thankful for it. 

Review: Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

I have enjoyed the Elite Guardians series from the very first book I read. In Chasing Secrets we meet Haley Callaghan.  She hasn't had an easy life, but she's never been one to feel sorry for herself.  She had to take care of herself when she was younger and even lived on the streets for a bit. She's always tried to help others and has no idea that she has a family across the world in Ireland. 
 She meets Detective Steven Rothwell after an unusually tough day and could never imagine that that her involvement with him will help end a twenty-five year old case that she didn't even know she was involved in.  Haley had no idea that her parents were killed when she was younger and the lady she thought was her mother was really her nanny.  
 This series always keeps me interested with the way Lynette Eason develops her characters and intertwines the mystery throughout the story. She has a way with leading you in one direction about who you think is responsible for Haley's …

Week Ending 8/5/2017

I've been trying to work a bit on school planning this week.  It seems a little strange to only have two kids to teach.  Our oldest only did one class at home last year, so he really wasn't around much. Now he's working full time, he's the manager at his store, and plans to go part time to study computers.  I think I have most of my 10th graders stuff planned out. I'm trying to let her schedule be a little lighter this year because she really felt stressed last year.  This is what I have planned and scheduled so far for this upcoming 10th grade year:

Unlock Geometry We reviewed this item recently and my daughter told me this was the best math that she had used.  She doesn't like math, so I ran with it when she didn't have anything negative to say about this program :) If you want to check out the program here is my referral link.  You'll get $50 off an annual purchase!

Brianna really liked the Abeka history she did in 8th grade, so we are going back to t…

Review: In the Reign of Terror by Heirloom Audio Productions

Audio books are something that we have listened to over the years.  I have to admit that I have never been so engaged in an audio book as I have in listening to In the Reign of Terror by Heirloom Audio Productions. This is not your average audio story, but rather it's like listening to a very dramatic play.   This audio story is based on one of G.A. Henty's novels as well as being part of The Extraordinary Adventure Series of G.A. Henty.  This was our first experience listening to these audio stories and I was so pleasantly surprised with the wonderful quality of their audio products.  We received the cd set as well as access to all the special bonus materials.  The cd set has 2 cd's with over 2 hours of an exciting story about the French Revolution.  This story was made with children 6-16 in mind, but I have to tell you I was hooked within the first few minutes.  We listened to it several times and each time I seemed to hear or learn something I didn't remember from …

Thankful Tuesday 8/1/2017

Today I'm thankful for my mom! She's an amazing lady and has always been there for us no matter what. I was home this weekend to celebrate her 74th birthday. So thankful to still have her here with us and able to spend so much time with my children. Here she is opening her gifts from Brianna that she packaged in a Thomas bag (LOL)

Review: English Grammar Teaching Method by English on a Roll

It amazes me as I've watched my children grow and learn how differently they each learn. I grew up in public schools and honestly I feel I got a great education.  I didn't struggle too much and I really could have worked harder in high school.  Grammar was a subject that I struggled with and I'm not exactly sure why.  I knew the basic nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs, but throw in all the rest and I would get a glazed look (LOL) I don't remember too much hands-on-learning it was really just book work.  All of my kids enjoy games and anything "fun" that doesn't see like "school" so much.   When I first learned about the English Grammar Teaching Method fromEnglish on a Roll I was very interested because it's a multisensory English grammar program.  Issac always seems to do better with the multisensory approach, so I was excited to check it out.  It always makes my day when a package arrives, but when your package includes 40 dice it seems…