Pages That Might or Might Not Be of Interest to You!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free School

On Wednesdays at Crossroads (the name of our homeschool) we have Free School.  Tuesday nights are late ones due to the older three going to BSF.  They don't get home until around 9:30; that makes for tired and cranky kiddos.  So onWednesday morning, it is hard to ask them to get up at 6:45 and start school by 8am.  I have tried it and it doesn't work for anyone!

So, what is a homeschool mom to do?

Free School!

What is Free School you ask?  It is school in any order on their schedule.  Usually we run on a pretty tight schedule.  It starts at 8 a.m. with devotions and goes in 30 min incriments until 3p.m. when it is homework time.  I know-rigid-right?  But it works for us.  The girls do better when they have a schedule to follow. 

However, it can chaff a little after a while especially when they are tired so we came up with Free School.  On Wednesdays, they can sleep in until they wake up.  Then they are on their own!  They eat breakfast and do chores, but then school is in any order they want and as quickly as they want.  (providing it is done well)  They don't have to follow any schedule or wait to do any subject.  If they want to be done with their part of school by noon, they can.  Then we will do about an hour of reading after lunch and be done for the day.

It works out to be a day of rest for all of us.  Plus, I can get caught up on some things that I have to put off because I am teaching four kids! 

I love Free School days.  ;-D

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Day of Rest

A day of rest...That is what Sunday is supposed to be.  Are we doing it?  As a society, do we use that day to refresh ourselves and families or is it just another day to load up with busyness?

Our family started going to church on Saturday nights (which I said that I would NEVER do! lol) a few years ago.  I love it.  Seriously, it is one of the best things we have ever done for our family besides eating supper together every night.

Sunday mornings are spent waking up whenever we want to followed by a brunch of leftovers from Saturdays breakfast.  Most of us stay in our pj's until well after 'lunch time' and just sit around reading books, playing games, or watching a movie together. 

The afternoons go much the same way.  It is laid back and relaxing.  Sometimes we will have a project to do together, but more often than not we will just RELAX.

We try to avoid scheduling anything on Sundays.  The kids aren't allowed to be in sporting activities on Sundays (if at all possible and it's not something that we schdule, they aren't playing in leagues that schedule them regularly) and we try to not let anything fill the day.

What are we left with if we don't do anything on Sundays? 

Each other and R  E  S  T. 

I challenge you to try and make Sunday a true day of rest for you and your family.  Sunday is the first day of the week and it can either be a day to prepare your bodies and hearts for the upcoming week or just one more day to fill to the brim. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bridegrooms Glog Tour and GIVE AWAY!!

by Allison Pittman

Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family on a hot summer night in Ohio when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home.

Now, Vada is a grown woman, still making her home with her father and sisters. Her days are spent serving as an errand girl for Cleveland’s fledgling amateur orchestra; her evenings with Garrison Walker, her devoted, if passionless, beau.

Dizzying change occurs the day the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders and a line drive wallops the head of a spectator. The fan is whisked to the Allenhouse parlor, and questions swirl about the anonymous, unconscious man.

Suddenly, the subdued house is filled with visitors, from a flirtatious, would-be sports writer to the Bridegrooms’ handsome star hitter to the guilt-ridden ballplayer who should have caught the stray shot. The medical case brings Dr. Allenhouse a frustration and helplessness he hasn’t felt since his wife’s disappearance. Vada’s sisters are giddy at the bevy of possible suitors. And Vada’s life is awakened amid the super-charged atmosphere of romantic opportunity.

My opinion:

I so enjoyed this book!  I didn't really think that I would.  But, I soon found myself involved with the characters and caring about them.  I could relate to the four daughters and could see each of my girls in some of the characters.  It got me to thinking about what they would be like when they are older. 

This is another historical fiction book...and I enjoyed it! lol  I think I am getting into historical fiction.  :)  The characters in this book are believable and enjoyable.  I couldn't put the book down, I just had to know what happened to them.  Some of it I could see coming but a few things came out of the blue and surprised  me. 

The only thing I didn't like about the book was that it didn't give me the closure that I wanted.  I wanted more of the story, I wanted it to continue a little more and tell answer all the questions for their futures!

I recommend this book and will look for more from this author. 

PLUS...I have one to give away!  If you want a chance to win this book, leave a comment.

If you want to buy this book, go here.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


We have a winner in the give away for Forget Me Not


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Writing Assignment That Broke My Heart

On Tuesday of this week our oldest had a writing assignment to do.  Not a bid deal, right?  That's what I thought.  She was given the assignment of writing free verse.  She's pretty good at writing so I didn't give it another thought until she handed it to me to check over. 

here it is:

Gone Forever
It was the Fourth of July,
we went to my aunts house.
We probably shouldn't have gone
but how were we to know
what happened later.
We came home,
and we knew
something was wrong.
Dad checked the house,
but nothing was gone,
nothing was broken,
and nothing was moved.
So he moved to the backyard,
there he found the source
of our unease.
Our beloved dog, Simba, was gone.
We searched for weeks,
possibly a few months,
but Simba was gone.

Gone Forever.

I was bawling by the time I was done reading.  The truth is, I have never quit looking for Simba.  She was my baby before I could have babies.  She is still missed.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Saturdays are filled with soccer for us.  We have all four girls playing on four different teams.  Can you say busy?  lol 

Saturday our games were one on top of the other with our oldest having an away game.  Steven took her to her game and I stayed for the other three.  Our youngest was first and she played pretty well.  She had a little trouble turning the ball around but had so much fun giggling with her friends.  :)

The 10yo was next.  I knew as soon as I saw the opposing team that we were in trouble.  I knew three of the players from the other team.  They are crazy good players.  The other coach is a great coach as well.  Our girls fought hard until the end.  They lost, but they were able to stiffle one of the opposing teams best players and keep her from scoring.  I was very proud of our girls for hanging in there and fighting.

The 12yo's game was going on while these two games were going and they only had 8 players show up.  We need 11 to take field.  :(  It ended up that the other team only had 9 players show up so everyone played the whole game!  Oh were they tired.  We ended up winning pretty decisively anyway.

By the time the fourth game of the day came around, I was done!  lol  Our 8yo was the last to play and you never know how she is going to play.  heehee  She likes to dance and talk on the soccer field. lol  So, I have had to learn to just sit back and watch with no expectations.  (not a bad thing to have to learn)  This day, she came to play.  She score three or four of the 6 goals.  She scored one with her left foot!  Another was an indirect kick that she shot over the opposing teams heads into the goal.  It was crazy!  She had a great time while doing it!  next week may be a different story! lol

We only have a few more weeks of soccer left.  Then some peace and quiet...Not!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Our Homeschool Performance

We belong to a homeschool group that we just love.  It is made up of about 15 families and around 55 kids!  We meet on Mondays three of the four weeks a month for classes.  We offer 4 classes for ages starting at birth all the way through high school.  The moms get together and decide the classes based on what their kids are asking for.  The classes change each year.  For the last two years though, we have had a choir class.  Last year we sang songs like a typical choir.  The kids did a great job.

This year, however, we did show tunes!  At the first class session, I let the kids listen to several songs that I picked so that they could choose the songs they wanted to perfrom.  The ages in the choir class were from 2nd grade up through high school.  When I started playing the songs for them, I kind of paniced!  They picked some of the hardest songs I played. lol  I should have known!

The songs they chose were All for the Best and Light of the World from Godspell; Go, Go, Joseph and the Prologue from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Not only were they going to sing, but they were going to dance!!!  Okay, so I only choreographed one song; but we only meet nine times and class time is only 45-50 minutes.  I had a big challenge in front of me.

Well, the kids pulled it off!  They totally rocked it.  They memorized all the songs and learned all the choreography.  A few of the kids had solos and ensemble work.  They were amazing!  I could not have asked for them to do any better.  They were confident and poised.  Plus, they had fun doing it!  What more could I ask for?

It was so much fun to see the light in their eyes when they accomplished what they started.  Woohoo! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Forget Me Not Blog Tour Review and GIVEAWAY

A mother who cannot face her future.

Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family. Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away. His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith. Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too. Why had he survived? He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan. A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill. Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly. Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?

My Opinion:

This was a really interesting book!  It was suspenseful from the first page.  The story was full of twists and turns and interesting plotlines.  It was just a little too short though.  I wanted more time to delve into the different aspects of the storyline.  It did make for fast reading, though. 

I would recommend this book.  AND I have one to give away!  lol  Since I am behind on posting this, I will draw a name on next Wednesday, the 21st.  Just leave a comment and you will be entered to win this great book!

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trip To Cincinnati-TONS of pictures-BEWARE

I was able to meet up with some online friends last week and go to a Home School Convention in Cincinnati.  It was amazing!  We had so much fun.  It really felt like we had been friends in real life forever.  We discovered Caramel and Mocha Frappes from McDonalds, Caramel Machiatto's, and how to sleep in a coffin.  ;-D  Sweet memories that will last for a year and then we are going back.  Hopefully we can get some more online friends to go with us next year.

The crew: Laura, Donna, and Missy

Our Incredibly tiny room!

This is our kind of Math. heehee

Donna and her Taylor made cup of love.


Laura, Amy, Donna, and me with a dog butt. lol

Yeah, don't ask.  Trust me, you don't want to know!

Me, Lee, and Laura.  (Lee Binz is amazing, btw)



The vendor hall.  Something like 1400 vendors-WOW!

This is the sunset God painted for us on our way home Saturday night.

It was an amazing trip full of memories that are too wonderful for words. Thanks, ladies.  :-D

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some Catching up to do...

My brother gave this to me for my bday and I am just now getting it posted!  lol  I LOVE this shirt and wear it often.  :)

We actually posed for a pic this Easter.  I need to resize it, but I thought it turned out nicely.  Until...I noticed the youngest!  Oh well, at least it's the Bible that she is holding up.  heehee


Fun at Easter! 

I have other pics of the girls that I will have to post later. ;-)

Monday, April 12, 2010


In the This Little Prayer of Mine blog tour!

The winner is...Leat!  Congrats!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Molly's Money-Saving Digest January 2010 Review

Do you know Molly?  I know several that want to be Molly, myself included!  I have just found something, that while it can't help me be Molly, it can help get me closer.  :)

Molly, if you haven't heard of her, is a wonderful Organizer, Evaluator, and Prioritizer.  She has wonderful ideas to make your life simpler and more organized.  Now, if you know me in real life you know I need all the help I can get!  I really think Molly could do that for me.

Molly is from the Econobusters.  They have a website that is so much fun to look around because it is packed with great information.  It's pretty too! I'm sorry, I should have said, "It is visually stimulating."  There I have sounded official. lol

Molly has ebooks that are put out by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  They are chalk full of information and useful tidbits.  But it's not too intimidating like a full 300 page book on organizing.  That would completely overwhelm me.  It's like Molly knows that I need to take baby steps then she shows them to me, points me in the right direction, encourages me to get started, and helps me to keep going. 

Each book is split into chapters.  The January edition has wonderful chapters such as Molly's Minute, Begin with the Basics (speaks to my heart), On Sale This Month (seriously love this one), Tips and Tools for Organization (should read this many times), Feather Your Nest Frugally (husband approved), In the Kitchen With Molly (always good to have new recipes and tips), Kids' Corner (to keep them entertained long enough for me to drink my coffee), a monthly feature, letters written in to Molly, and then....drum roll please...a Directory of Links. 

Yeah, that's what I said.  All that AND a Directory of Links.  And, and, and, what's even better is that the links are divided up by chapter!  Woohoo!  So you are reading away on a chapter and you are inspired, which you will be, so you go to the Directory of Links and you find the chapter you are on and viola! there are all your links.  Way too cool!

I haven't even included the charts.  There is a Family Budget, To Do List (that is just too cute), and Family Clothing Inventory (that we will be using in a few weeks).  These are seriously great tools to have. In the kitchen chapter you get recipes, but you also get a menu plan and a SHOPPING LIST for the menu plan.  Seriously!  How cool is that?  The Kid's Corner has a checkbook ledger and checks to help teach them to manage their own money. 

I could go on and on, but I won't.  I encourage everyone to check out these ebooks, they are great.  You can get them at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine website or Econobusters

Try Molly you'll get hooked, too!
You can buy them here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Help, Lord, I'm Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling My High Schooler! Review

It's everywhere!  Really, it is.  You may not know it because you aren't looking for it yet; but, it 's there.  I only started noticing it a few months ago because some ladies in my homeschool group were talking about it.  I started wondering if I should be thinking about it too.   hmmm  Na, I would think about that later.  I have plenty of time.

Ahem, I'm thinking about it now!  What, you wonder has all this attention of mine?  Homeschooling High School.  I have to admit, I wasn't too concerned about it before this year.  Of course, I didn't think too much about it either. lol  But, the more I hear the mom's around me talk about it and the more I see in magazine's and online, I am starting to get a little concerned.

My main questions are Can I really do this?  and Will I mess their education up completely if I do?  Nothing too monumental, right?  Haha

So, I started listening.  And listening.  I was hearing some good ideas and information and even some stories that helped a little.  But, they were mostly families just like us or at least very similar to us (in some ways!) and I was desperate to hear some different real life stories that I could draw from to create a big picture for myself.  I wanted to hear stories of people who school differently and hear that they succeeded.  I wanted to know that their kids went on to lead successful lives in their chose professions.  But, beyond that I wanted to know that they became successful people.

I found what I was looking for.  Now, this ebook is not a How-To.  It is not a fill in the blank and come out with a plan.  I would like that also, though!  This book is a compiliation real-life stories of families that made it.  They did it in ways that worked for their families and children and they succeeded. 

For each story you get to hear a little background on the family, and there are all kinds of families in there!  You hear their story and where they are coming from.  Then you get to hear some of their journey.  Every story is real and relatable.  Like Kelly Rottenberry stating, "It has been a few years since I homeschooled high schoolers, but I remember it vividly.  They are years that I wouldn't trade for anything despite the challenges that came with them."  That gets me excited!  That makes me anticipate it more.  I can so relate to some of the situations with her children.  It helps to see that they turned out alright, maybe mine will too!

There are so many wonderful stories that encouraged me.  Honestly, I will read them often and can't recommend this book enough.  Like I said, it is not a How-To book, it is more like sitting with a friend drinking a cup of coffee and being encouraged.  There are thirteen different authors/stories, each one wonderful.  The introduction by Amanda Bennett and the Epilogue by Deborah Wuehler are great in and of themselves- just little nuggets of truth and encouragement for the journey. 

As if that wasn't enough, there is an Author's Recommended Resources section.  Wow!  Talk about a wealth of information.  Between book recommendations, websites, Scripture references, transcript helps links...I could go on and on with what is included.  But I think you should get it for yourself and see what I'm talking about.  :-)

I highly recommend this ebook from The Old Schoolhouse.  It is a tool to have in your arsenal for when you are doubting whether you can do it or not.  Buy it and be encouraged.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This Little Prayer of MIne Blog Tour

This Little Prayer of Mine
by Anthony DeStefano
illustrated by Mark Elliott

Author Anthony DeStefano’s adult books, The Prayers God Always Says Yes To and A Travel Guide to Heaven, have sold a quarter-million copies. Illustrator Mark Elliott’s cherished artwork has appeared in popular picture books and novels for young readers, including Gail Carson Levine’s ever-popular Princess Tales series.

Now, these acclaimed inspirational experts have come together to create This Little Prayer of Mine, a beautiful and alluring book designed to guide children into a very simple, real and expressive relationship with God.

Through engaging rhymes and alluring illustrations, This Little Prayer of Mine shows children—and their parents and grandparents—that complete dependence on God is what brings peace and fulfillment. It invites children to know and believe that God is always just a simple prayer away and that He longs to respond to them with a resounding, “Yes!”

This Little Prayer of Mine appeals to readers from all different faiths. Easy-reader format allows children to read alone, or with someone older, and encourages them to openly express their fears, thanks, and needs directly to God.

Could this book be any sweeter?  The artwork is just adorable and poignant.  The faces on these little kids are absolutely adorable.  The situations in some of the pictures are funny and so relatable. This is a hardback book and the pages are thicker and would seem to be more durable for multiple readings.

The prayer is simple.  It is beautiful and just what a kid might think.  No need for flowery words and deep theological stuff, you can get to the heart of God with the simplicity of children.  This book has done that.  My children read it and they all commented at different times throughout the book, "I have felt like that" or "Oh, I know what they mean".  The prayer deals with the stuff that kids are going through and turns them into a prayer of comfort, praise, and a cry for help. 

The last lines of the prayer made me cry.  They are: 

"There's really just one other thing I'd like to ask again. 
Please love me God, forevermore. 
That's all I want. 

And really, that's all I want too.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
If you would like to purchase this book,here is a link:

Now, I have a copy of this precious book to give away.  If you want to be entered into the drawing just leave a comment.  I will be gone all of this week and don't know if I will get to check the blog.  So just leave a comment and I will moderate when I get back. 

The drawing will be on Monday(12th) this time.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

We Have a Winner

Rachel is the latest winner of a book!  Woohoo!!

Mom, I swear I'm not avoiding your name! lol  ;-)

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's a Jonah kind of a week!

Someone asked me if I felt like Job.  No, not really.  There have been times in my life that I might have felt that way, but I'm a long ways from there right now.  The girls were watching Anne of Green Gables this week and a line stuck out.  I love those movies and books and we watch them pretty regularly.  Anne said that she was having a Jonah kind of day.  hmm Yeah I think that describes it pretty well.

Wednesday finished and Thursday started.  We still didn't have our car back.  Our 8yodd had an appt. with a pediatric dentist.  Steven came and boy was I glad.  She had some major work that needs done and I don't think I could have handled the news alone.  She has a long road ahead of her and it breaks my mommies heart to see her going through.  Mommy guilt is a great thing, isn't it?

Thursday was pretty quiet.  We went through the day with little to nothing happening.  It started making me nervous actually, the quiet!  That evening we decided to ride our bikes to soccer practice since we wouldn't all fit into the car.  Our youngest did awesome on the way.  Then she played for an hour at the park.  Our trip home wasn't so pleasant.  She was tired.  I mean REALLY tired.  She cried the whole way home.  It was so sad.  And yet kind of funny in a way! lol

At home we put all the bikes away and when Steven was shutting the big garage door, it fell.  We went around through the house and into the garage and found that the cable had broken and the spring flew off the track.  Praise God no one was in the garage!  But, it is definitely broken.  :(

Our car is still in the shop. 

Today, I had a crown put on my tooth.  It was almost $500.  I tried not to cry in front of the people at the dentist office.  But as soon as I saw Steven, the dam broke.  It was just the last straw. 

Actually not, because we have to pick up the car tomorrow and pay for it. 

Then maybe this week will come to an end!