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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Random Dozen

1. Do you believe, somewhere deep inside, that blondes do indeed have more fun? That they are "dumber" than brunettes or redheads? Be honest!  I don't think we have more fun just because we are blonde.  You can have fun whatever your hair color if you want to.  I think we blondes feel freer to have more fun bc people think that we do anyway.  "Dumb"?    Who's dumb?  What were we talking about?  ;-p  hahaha  It is easy to fall into that stereotype, but I think it is over-used and a cop-out. 

2. Which animal would you most like to observe in its wild habitat?  Any of them?  lol I would seriously love to see any wild animal in the habitat that God created them for.

3. This week the U.N. announced that Dr. Mazlan Othman has been appointed the official "Alien Ambassador," should any extraterrestrials contact us. Have you, or has anyone you know, ever seen a UFO?
Um...seriously?  No.  I think that is all I will say about that.

4. Name your favorite Hitchcock film.  The Birds, Psycho, Rear Window, to name a few!

5. Would you rather spend time at the library, the mall, a craft store or home?  That depends.  Can I go alone or do I have to take the little people who are constantly nagging me to do something for them my pride and joy? :-D  Yes, to all of them depending on the day.

6. Which Disney princess is your favorite? (Or Disney character, if you are a guy)  Belle or Ariel

7. What kind of art is your favorite? Edible.  Yup, that's what I said!

8. How do you feel about viral videos, that is, videos made by amateurs that end up on Youtube receiving thousands of hits?  They are fine?  Do I really care about them?  I don't think I do.  let me think about that for a minute...Nope, I don't.

9. Where do you buy your jeans?  Almost always at Goodwill.  I refuse to pay more than $15 for any pair of jeans.  It's highway robbery to pay new store prices.

10. Tell me about your first automobile accident.  My car was hit by a drunk driver, but I wasn't in it.  Steven and I were kind of side-swiped by a semi and only rec'd a dent in the doorThat's pretty much it!

11. Have you ever been honest when you knew you would benefit more if you would be dishonest?  Yes, just this week.  After the hail storm, the appraiser came out and we need a new roof.  He also added our screen door on the front porch because it has a hole in it.  He assumed it was from the storm and we corrected him so that he wouldn't add it.  He was surprised by our admission bc he said most people let it go so they can get more paid for. 

12. If you were appointed "Ambassador to Aliens," what would you show and tell first about life on Earth? What would be the most difficult thing to explain?  I may have bad dreams with all the talk about aliens.  Does someone know something that I don't?  I have no idea what I would show them, since I don't believe in them I haven't really thought about it. 

There is my list for the Random Dozen.  If you would like to participate, head on over to 2nd cup of coffee and read all about it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Catching up

Have I really not posted since last Thursday?  We have been busy and I have had an ear infection.  :( 

So, what has been happening? 


Friday we had gymnastics, soccer, a girls night with my in-laws, more soccer, church, family visits, homeschool group, my ear infection, more soccer, school, emergency orthodontia visits, babysitting, school, and the general feeling of being overwhelmed and behind.

I didn't post my Friday's Fave Five.  :(  I missed doing it and visiting other blogs to see their lists.  Maybe next week I will make mine twice as long!

Soccer on Saturday was great!  Our 11yo had an away game and played very well.  She played defense and mid-field and held her own against some girls that looked twice her size and several years older!  Her team won a hard fought game.

Our 12yo also had a great game.  They played a formidable team and the score was neck-n-neck until the last quarter.  Towards the end of the game I shouted out to my dd, "Do you want a frappe?"  She answered with a loud "Yes!" with wide eyes.  "Then score a goal."  I shouted back.  The next play, the ball came to her side and she took it away from the opposing team and dribbled it all the way back down the field and scored a goal!!!  It was a great play that took us all by surprise.  Now, I don't actually care if they score or not, but I knew she could and I just wanted her to know it as well.  Now she does!

Church on Saturday night was fun.  ;-D  Mark Gungor was our guest speaker and talked about marriage to the single people! lol   Go look him up, he is well worth it.

Sunday morning was quiet with little going on.  I slept for part of it and we cleaned the other part.  I slept again in the afternoon due to my ear hurting and then family came to visit.  I finished up my BSF that evening and frantically tried to get ready for our homeschool group on Monday morning.

Our homeschool group meeting started out stinky because we were running late and forgetting things.  We finally got things together just as everyone was getting there.  My ear was hurting so much that I went home soon after getting there.  That afternoon we folded and priced clothes for our groups garage sale later this week.

I didn't go to BSF Monday night due to a fever and my ear.  Our oldest had soccer practice and then we sent everyone to bed early.

This morning, we started the day well but then the little guy that we babysit came and everything fell flat.  We have struggled all day to get school done and we are all quite cranky now.  I don't know how we will get school done with him here.  I said yes to watching him bc I felt the Lord leading me to, but now I am frustrated and cranky about it.  Prayers, prayers.

Tonight, the girls and Steven are going to BSF and I will have some quiet time to hopefully catch up on some things that are requiring my attention.

So that is my last five days in a nutshell!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bible Shmible

It is becoming increasingly alarming how many people that proclaim themselves Christians say things that are opposite of what the Bible believes.  I have read so many things that grieve my heart in the last few days that Bible believing Christians should 'know'. 

For instance:  "They are such a good person.  I know they say they don't believe in God the way I do, but how could God keep them out of heaven?  I just know they will be there standing beside me when I get to heaven."

No, they won't.  If they don't believe on Jesus for their salvation and profess Him crucified, buried, and resurrected then they will not be in heaven.  God won't be keeping them out, they will have kept themselves out.  The Bible, God's inerrant Word, states very clearly that the ONLY way to heaven is through Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 states it clearly:

 "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Seems pretty clear to me.  What about this one:

Matthew 7:21-23
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

Being that I have family that proclaims to be atheist, this makes me very sad.  But it is their choice.  There are many Scripture that talk about this and explain it very clearly so how can we think otherwise?

There is only one way to heaven.  One way to God.  It is not a religion, a church, a pastor, or on our own.  It is through the blood of Jesus Christ. And Him only.

That is just one of the many things I have been reading lately and it breaks my heart.  When we try to interpret the Bible to mean what we want, we do no one any good.  We might as well not even read it.    Yes, I believe the Bible is to be taken literally.  The earth was created in seven literal days bc it says so.  The Bible is the most historically and archaeologically proven book, ever.  Why would I not believe it?  You may not believe it and that is your choice.  But I refuse to water down it's life giving message to anyone just because it might offend them. 

Honestly, sometimes it offends me because I don't want to admit that I need a Savior.  I don't want to admit that I can not do it all or that I am not the end all-be all to everyone and everything.  I am a vain, selfish person that wants what I want when I want it. 

Where has that gotten me?  In pain, in need, and friendless. 

I choose to believe God and His Word.  I will not alter it to fit man's needs or desires.  (I will try anyway, I am but a sinful creature you know  ;-) )  Yes, I know that not everyone believes as I do.  That is their choice.   But I firmly believe that if you are going to call yourself a Christian then you better behave like one and follow the teachings of the Bible.  Don't pick and choose based on what you want and don't want. 

Okay, I am done.  I just couldn't hold it in any longer.  More may follow, I don't know.  I'm just fed up with people who say they believe one thing and then act, say, do another.  And lest you think I am leaving myself out, I am not.  I am chief among sinners and the worst of hypocrites.  I struggle with this daily and strive to walk the talk.  Daily.  It doesn't always work and I have to apologize and try again.

If you don't agree with what I've written, no problem.  That is your choice.  But this is my blog.  Please be respectful if you feel the need to leave a comment.  Ugly or hurtful comments will be removed without apologies. 

Random Dozen

Well, once again I have let Wednesday pass me by without doing the Random Dozen.  :(  I will tell you that a stomach bug hit me towards the end of Wednesday and nothing else seemed to matter!

So, here is my list.  Late again.  But done!

1. Have you, or has someone close to you, ever won an award for anything? hmm...I won best actress at our college one year, does that count?

2. Who is the nearest relative to you who has served in the US Military? My brother and sister, cousins, uncle, and many more.  Most especially, my husband.

3. Share something that stirs the patriotic spirit in you.  The Star Spangled Banner, seeing a flag fly, seeing a soldier in uniform, a song about soldiers.  I am pretty patriotic and can get stirred up fairly quickly.  :)

4. Where are you in the birth order in your family? Do you think your "placement" made a difference in your personality?  I am the baby and yes, birth order matters.  That's all I'm going to say about that!

5. Name one trait you hope you carry that was evidenced in your parents or grandparents.  A willingness to help people and ask nothing in return.

6. If female, do you prefer wearing a skirt or pants? If male, shirt and tie or polo? Yes!  I think if I went around without pants or a skirt on people would be offended! heehee  It depends on the day.  Some days are skirt days and some are pants.  Then others still are just jammie days!

7. Approximately how many times do you wake during the night? What do you do to go back to sleep?  Do I have to count?  Lately it has been too numerous to even call it a night's sleep.  Normally only one or two times to straighten the blankets because my dh has made a burrito of himself with the blankets.  ;-D

8. Share a favorite movie quote.  "Mawiage, twue luuve.  Mawaige is what bwings us togevew today."  Princess Bride.  Love, love, love it!!

9. What is your favorite Fall candle scent? I have to choose just one?  Okay, okay, today it would be cinnamon I think.  No, maybe cinnabun.  Wait, I have to go with vanilla.  Love vanilla but I think it makes me gain weight because it smells so good.

10. What is one Fall activity you're looking forward to?  Football!  Yup, I love it.  I also like the cool nights to sit with the family.

11. Tell us about a pleasant surprise that happened to you recently.  My dh bought me a Nook.  He had been saving up for it and didn't tell me.  He just surprised me with it!

12. What was it like when you first met your in-laws-to-be? I think this one is better left alone.  Really.

So, since my list is so late I guess you have already read the rest of the groups lists and I am behind in reading them.  I bet they are brilliant!  Oh wait, you haven't read them either?  Race you over to 2nd cup of coffee...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TOS Review Salem Ridge Press

We love books at our house!  Especially books that are well written and uphold our values as a family and as Christians.  Salem Ridge Press is a company that provides just that.

"Salem Ridge Press is a publishing company, established in 2005, dedicated to bringing back the very best children’s books of the 1800’s and early 1900’s for a new generation of readers. We strive to republish books that are wholesome, exciting, and well-written. So far, we have republished twenty-seven titles which you can read more about on our website Sample chapters of each title are also available on the website. The majority of our titles are available in both hardcover and softcover, as homeschooling families often have a strong preference for one or the other."

Daniel Mills, founder, says:  The underlying philosophy of Salem Ridge Press is found in the Bible: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8)."

"Daniel firmly believes that what we read matters and what we take into our minds is a major factor in forming our ideas and character.  His goal is to be a blessing to others by providing reading material that fits the qualifications outlined in the Bible. While not every title that Salem Ridge Press publishes is explicitly Christian, all of our titles have strong moral values and encourage positive character."

That message is routinely portrayed throughout the website and in every book they publish.


I would completely agree that this company is a trustworthy source for excellent reading materials.  I would not hesitate to let my children read any of the selection on their website.  I would recommend them with the utmost of confidence to any of my friends or family as well.  It is so important to not lose these works of fiction from our past so that we can learn from them and heed their messages.  What a blessing that Salem Ridge Press is willing to re-publish these great works for us to enjoy.

I was lucky enough to receive three books for this review.  They sent me two e-books and one paperback book.  I was most pleased to receive these books because I know that Salem Ridge Press is a wonderful company dedicated to wholesome, uplifting products that will be treasures for years to come.

The three books we received were Gytha's Message, From Bondage to Freedom, and Mary's Home.

I was so pleased with each of these books and their content.  The paperback book was bound well with a nice weight of paper.  I know it will last through numerous readings.   I am so looking forward to reading these out loud as a family many times over the years to come.

The books are sold on their website and range in price from $12.95-$16.95 for soft-covers with hard-covers being a bit more.  They are a great value that will be a welcome addition to any library.

If you want to know what other reviewers are saying, head over to The TOS Crew blog and check it out.

**I was given these books by Salem Ridge Press through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Confessions of a Five Year Old

Tonight, our youngest, came home from Bible Study Fellowship in tears.  She came to hug me good night and started sobbing into my neck.  She was trying to talk but I couldn't understand her.  I asked if something was wrong and she nodded.

I asked if it happened at BSF, another nod.

My stomach is starting to knot at this point.

She tries talking again but it is incoherent.  I am really getting worried.  She is obviously very upset about something.

I calm her down and tell her to try again.

She takes a deep breath and proceeds to tell me this:

"I'm so sorry, Mommy.  I want to tell you but I didn't want you to be mad at me."

um, okay...

"When I go to the bathroom, I don't wash my hands."

heavy sigh from the parental unit

me-"You mean when Daddy and I ask you if you washed your hands and you say that you did, you really haven't been?"

more serious sobbing form the 5yo

"Yes, and I'm so sorry."

me-"Did you talk about sin tonight in BSF?"

"Yes" said with a prolonged eeeeee due to sobbing

We went up to talk to Daddy so she could confess to him as well.  It was a very sad and sweet sight.  We prayed with her and helped her to talk to Jesus about it. 

What a bittersweet moment it was to usher our dd into the knowledge that she is a sinful being.  But, what a wonderful moment to introduce her to a loving and forgiving savior.

What a tender heart.  May she always hear the Holy Spirit so clearly and may she always obey His leading.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Things

This week started the regular way, Homeschool group, soccer, etc.

But, then it changed.  I started BSF this week!!  I got into a group and I got to go!  Yay!!  I am so excited to be in it and thrilled to be studying the book of Isaiah.  Can't wait to see what God is going to reveal to me through this.

The next new thing for the week is sitting on the couch next to me on my 11yos lap.  It is a baby boy!  No, it is not mine.  We have started babysitting a 6mo baby boy.  It is quite an adjustment to get used to a babies schedule again. 

Not sure how we are going to manage this schedule with school but somehow we will.  ;-D

Hopefully that is all the new things for the week because I don't like change!  I don't handle it well.  It makes me cranky.  Seriously.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tis the Season

Soccer has started.  Actually it started two weeks ago, but this week it felt real! lol  This season we have only two girls playing but of eight games, four are at the exact same time.  ugh  That is so not cool.

This weekend, though, they both did an amazing job.  The oldest played against a team that was coached by Steven's boss! Can you say awkward?  It wasn't too bad, really.  Especially since we won!  But only just barely.  B, did an excellent job on defense and almost scored a couple of times.  Which is pretty good for a defender. ;-D  She got quite a few compliments on her defense and quick reactions.  One person called her a natural striker.  hmmm

S, scored two goals this week!  Woohoo!  But beyond that, she played really well.  She passed the ball and communicated well with her teammates.  She has an amazing stride when she runs and the parents that were sitting next to me commented on it when she got a break away and scored.  Her team ended up winning as well.

I hope each team continues to do as well each week even if they don't win.  But winning sure makes it fun!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

history repeats itself

Friday, lunchtime, found me sitting in a gym.  No, I wasn't exercising even though I need to.  I was sitting there on bleachers watching my two youngest participate in gymnastics classes.  They were beaming and loving it.

It was total deja vu though.  Especially since my youngest was wearing a body suit that I wore when I was her age and in gymnastics!  They have a great coach and I am looking forward to seeing what they learn about the sport and about themselves. 

Pictures will be coming, I just have to get them off the camera!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday's Fave Five

It is time once again to ponder the blessings God has brought me this week.  I am sure there are too many to list if I would endeavor to name them all.  But alas, I cannot.  I must pick five only. 

My first would be new books that are really old!  I love reading and will read many books ever so much more than the average person.  I love to re-visit old friends through the pages of literature.  This week, I have started Jane Eyre, again!  And next I will start North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.  (I won't tell you about the other 6 books I am reading.  And yes, I read them all at the same time!)

My next favorite would be movies based on books!  The faithful re-tellings of good books that is.  I enjoy seeing characters I love given form and substance in a way that honors the authors original ideas.  *see the first fave five!

My third favorite for the week is BSF!!  I got the call last night and they found a group for me to be in.  Yay!  I am having a little trouble concentrating on the lesson at this point but that could be due to the fact that I'm not sleeping well at night and nothing at all to do with the subject matter. lol  It has been a while since I have been involved in a corporate Bible Study and I am so looking forward to it.

Fourth on my list is our weather.  I love living in a state that has all the seasons every year.  It makes it even more interesting to see several of those seasons in the same day! haha  This week we had a hail storm that pounded hail on us that was traveling in excess of 100mph.  No kidding.  We found several pieces in our yard that were as big as our hands. 

And last but not least, I am thankful that God loves my children enough to let them get caught in their sin.  It is so hard to watch your children make sinful choices but some lessons are better learned the hard way.  Praise God that He will catch them and restore them.  (nobody freak out, it wasn't a *major ordeal but it was big enough)

How about you?  Do you have a list of favorite things God has blessed you with this week?  If so, head on over to Living to tell the Story and share with us.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Calling all Tweens, Pre-Teens, and Teens

I have known this was coming and was waiting to announce it for just the right time.

Now is the time!

A dear friend's dd has started an online magazine and it is awesome!  The journalists, photographers, etc. are all young girls with hearts that belong to Jesus.

You should go check it out!  Bloom! Magazine

Head on over there and see what these young ladies are doing and tell Ky you heard about it here! :-D

Random Dozen

It is time once again in the week to answer totally Random questions and then find out how others have answered them.  If you want to participate, go to 2nd cup of coffee.

1. Do you do garage sales? If so, tell me about one great find. If not, tell me why not.  I love, love, love, Garage Sales!!!  Especially in the niice neighborhoods. ;-D  I have found furniture, a whole set of couches and end tables, for $50.  They were/are in great condition and I got matching pillows for a quarter each! Woohoo!!

2. Name the last thing you fixed.  
Food or something broken?  Food-Plantation supper.  Broken item-the toilet in my bathroom.

3. Name your A) Favorite item of makeup OR B) Favorite tool 
I love the mascara that makes my eyes look more blue.  I also love my tool bag.  Steven got me my own tool bag and it is full of tools that I use around the house.  I adore doing home improvement jobs!!

4. Which room in your home needs organizing more than any other? 
I have to pick one?  ugh  There are so many that are so disorganized.  I really just need help all the way around!

5. Which room could use re-decorating? 
Okay, again...all of them?  I like doing home improvement jobs but those that know me irl know that I shouldn't be trusted to re-decorate on my own.  No, seriously it's the truth.  I am in the middle of picking pain for the front hallway and have asked four different people so far and I still haven't bought it yet.  I'm a little of nervous about it!

6. Share something unique about your town. 
We are a somewhat big town, 400,000, but it still feels like a small town.  Our skyline is not so big that you can't see the starts at night. 

7. If you could send a one-sentence message to your great-grandchild, what would it be?
I'm sorry? No, um...I told them not to do that.  Wait, that doesn't sound too good.  hmmm...I know.  Love Jesus, please Him only, and follow Him relentlessly.

8. Do you Facebook?
  Oh yeah!!  Love Facebook!

9. Describe your favorite shoes.
A pair of Sketcher's that are falling apart.  :(  I can't find another pair just like it and they are perfect for my feet.  Sketcher's if you are reading this, please send me more shoes!!!

10. Do you listen to more talk radio or more music radio? What kind of station is it?
Neither.  We use our Mp3 players or ipods to listen to music.

11. How far would you travel for a really good (favorite) meal?
My kitchen if someone else is making it! hahaha  I'm not sure about that.  It would depend on the company I suppose.  I don't want to be in a car with people I don't care for for more than 10 minutes but a car full of people I love-endless travel time!

12. If you were totally honest with yourself (and us) what should you probably be doing right now instead of blogging? 
Bathing. Eating.  School.  Exercising.  Working on reviews.  Great now I feel guilty.  Thanks.  ;-p

Head on over to 2nd cup of coffee and join in the fun!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Place

I love it when God brings you to a new place and you can just sit back and relax, knowing it is right.  I got to have that feeling tonight.

Tonight was the first meeting of BSF for the year.  Bible Study Fellowship is a great organization that just studies the Bible.  I have been to CBS, which is very similar, but wanted to do the same study as the rest of my family!

I sat listening to the expectations and rules and such and was pretty convinced that this was where I should be.  But then I heard the lecture and knew.  This is where God wants me right now.  This is what He has for me to learn.

I am so excited to see what God will show me this year.  And I can't wait to be able to talk about it as a family.   ;-D

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ranting and Raving about Hypocrisy

Okay, I have read the Twilight books and I liked them.  I also read 1984 and liked it.  Liz Curtis Higgs is one of my favorite authors.  Jane Austen rocks!  Dickens-yup!  I have read a wide variety of authors and genres and will continue to read as many books as I can.

Here's what I don't get.  The controversy that the Twilight books caused in the Christian community.  It's crazy.  Not that we shouldn't be careful about what we read; we should.  I just find it interesting that the bandwagon is chock-full of people fussing and fuming over these books and yet they tout authors like Ted Dekker just because they claim to be Christian authors.  Huh?

I have written before about my disgust with Ted Dekker.  I don't find his books to be Christian at all.  Are they well written.  Sure, I guess.  If you like to focus on dark, disturbing images that is.  There seems to be an out of balance focus on the dark side of things in Dekkers books.  I know there are some that would argue the redemption theme or the analogy of Christ theme; but I just don't see it.  How can a book focus so much on the dark, icky side of things and then for a moment of the book say something vague about Christianity and be considered Christian? 

I don't get it.  And it makes me angry.  Can you tell? lol

The same people that get worked up about Twilight will probably not have a problem with Dekkers latest book, Immanuel's Veins.  But let me tell you-it is a dark loving, focus on the evil, blood-fest.  I found out far more in this book about the different ways vampires suck blood and the sensual things it does to them than in the Twilight books.  I felt dirty after reading this book of Dekkers.  Just like the others I have tried of his. 

I keep trying his books because people keep going on and on about them and how wonderful they are.  Like this new one.  There are glowing comments in the front of the book that are reminiscent of the stir that came from the Twilight crowd.  One person states that they read it three times in five days and two weeks later was on reading number seven.  I can't imagine focusing on this book that many times.  Eeww.  There was so much talk of blood, drinking blood, sucking blood, pouring blood, etc in this book that it made my stomach turn.


I cannot say enough that I don't consider Ted Dekker a Christian author.  Read him for what he is-a tame version of Stephen King.  He's also an author that I would encourage my children to stay away from.  At least with the Twilight books and others like them, you know going in that it isn't a Christian book and can judge it appropriately.  This book and author are somewhat deceiving, in my opinion, and can easily bring someone's focus to land too heavily on the dark side of things. 

These are just my opinions so take them with a grain of salt!

I'm done with my ranting and raving now.  I am going to pick up a nice safe book like Eragon and get lost in another world for a while! lol

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday's Fave Five

It's Friday already?  I can't believe that this week went by so quickly!  I don't think I like that very much.  I still feel like there is more to do and not enough time to do it.  Oh well, I guess I will just plan the weekend and not worry about it! lol

This week has been pretty great!  Finding my Fave Five was easy...

1.  The holiday weekend meant that Steven got Monday off.  We had a very relaxing work day! heehee  Actually we worked in the morning and took the afternoon/evening off.  I just love how God put Steven and I together.  We work on home improvement projects so well together that it is just too much fun!

2.  The weather has been absolutely AMAZING!!  We were able to sit on our front lawn and do school.  Perfect weather.  It was just the break we needed from the monotony of our basement and school room.  I love living in a state that has all of the seasons God created-it makes every day so much of an adventure.

3.  Finishing work on a deadline.  I do reviews for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Crew and I am loving it!  In exchange for my honest opinion, I get FREE homeschool products.  Can you believe that?  I feel pretty honored to have been chosen for it and am constantly feeling the pressure to do a fabulous job with the reviews.  It's a good kind of pressure, though! lol

4.  Watching my oldest daughter grow and mature.  This week we took her to the optometrist to get fitted for contacts.  She plays soccer at the U14 level and is expected to do headers, which was kind of hard with glasses on.  She struggled for well over 3 hours to get them out yesterday.  Steven finally pulled them out for her.  Many tears were shed. Today, she did it all on her own.  :-D  What a wonderful young lady she is becoming.

5.  The ability to call on The Saints of God in prayer.  How awe inspiring is it to know that the Saints are lifting up your prayer to a Holy and Loving God with you.  What an awesome responsibility we have to one another to boldly approach the Throne of Grace with confidence and place our petitions before our Heavenly Father.  Thank you, Abba, for the gift of prayer and for the intercession of your Saints.

If you would like to participate in this wonderful meme, head on over to Susanne's at Living to tell the Story and sign up.  I would love to read your Fave Five!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Random Dozen

Okay, so with the holiday weekend, I forgot that this was happening.  Today feels like Wednesday not Thursday!  lol

I am going to do this anyway.  ;-D

1. Describe the best sandwich in the world, according to you.  The best sandwich is the one that has a bite of everything in every bite.  If you can't do that, don't make the sandwich.  Seriously.  Just ask my dh.  he won't make a sandwich for me.  It scares him.  Sandwich making is an art form and either you have it or you don't!

2. Which inspires you more: a good conversation, a song, a book or movie?  Yes?  All of them can.  :)

3. What is your favorite board game?  Quelf.  LOVE IT!!  It is too much fun and doesn't take any strategy-just fun!

4. As you grow older, are you more or less patient with small children?  Yes?  I think this depends on the day. lol  Generally though, I think more patient bc I remember them being small.  (not that mine are all that big yet, but perspective is a great thing, right?)

5. Name one item you never let yourself run out of.  bwahahahaha  That is just such a a funny question!  I run out of everything constantly.  I can't remember to buy the right things at the right times.  This is just not a fair question with four young children in the house and a scatter-brained mom in the house.!!  That just cannot run out or momma ain't happy.  ;-D

6. Do you agree with Tennyson's assertion, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?" Yes and no.  If you have loved and lost then you know the joy of loving and being loved.  Then again, if you haven't loved you don't know the pain of losing love.  Wait, what was the question again?

7. Name one national treasure or monument that you have visited. None.  I have never been anywhere or seen anything.  :(  Maybe someday...

8. Which is more painful, to be disappointed in someone else or to be disappointed in yourself?  Yes.  Depending on the situation, they are both bad.

9. What makes your kitchen uniquely yours?  The dirty dishes and the food that is stuck to the counter?  No wait, it's the mold in the fridge, right? 

10. Are you a crafty person?  Yes, at least I like to think so!

11. What is your favorite traditional picnic or bbq (cookout) food?  Food?  Possibly just plain ol' hamburgers but maybe ribs?  Corn on the cob?  Potato Salad?  Okay, now I am hungry!

12. Name one leisurely activity you enjoyed over Labor Day Weekend.  Sleep!  I also read books and caught up on blog reading.

If you want to see what everybody else said to these questions, which they answered on the right day, head on over to 2nd cup of coffee and check it out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

TOS Crew Math Tutor Reviews

I was given two DVD's from  I was thrilled to be getting these because Math is a struggle for me.  I missed many key components in my early Math education and so I never 'got' the higher Maths.  Trying to teach my girls concepts I don't understand is a bit daunting, to say the least.

So, when we received these DVD's I couldn't wait to watch them.  Especially since my oldest is ready for Pre-Algebra and it scares me silly.  The two DVD's we were sent were The Pre-Algebra Tutor Volume 1 and The Texas Instruments TI-83/TI-84 Calculator Tutor.

I had never heard of this company before so I spent some time on their website and was pleased at what I found.  There is a great home page with easy to navigate links, free sample videos, free online calculators, and so much more that I can't list them all.  One important page to look at is The Story.   This is a great synopsis of what they are about and why they do what they do.  Another important page is Our Guarantee.  Not many companies give a 30-day money back guarantee anymore!  This makes me feel like I could buy with confidence.

Now for what I thought of the DVD's.

I'll start with The Texas Instruments TI-83/TI-84 Calculator Tutor.

Honestly, I have never even seen a calculator like this one!  I did go and look at them after I rec'd the DVD but I'm pretty sure I would never own one let alone use one.  However, I think that with this DVD I could actually figure it out if I needed to.  I was pretty nervous when I put the disk in; I was afraid at how stupid it would make me feel.  That didn't happen.  Right from the start, I was comfortable with the instruction and completely at ease with what was being taught.

Granted, it was just the introductory session pointing out what was on the calculator and what the buttons were for!  But still, I could follow it and keep up.  I loved how the screen was split showing the buttons on one side and the screen of the calculator on the other side.  It made for watching the process very simple and easy to understand.  I am sure that if I understood what he was talking about, I could use this calculator after watching these DVD's.


This DVD set is 8 hours of video tutorial!  It is a three disk set that is comprehensive and complete.  Here is what is included on these DVD's:
Disk 1
Section 1: Overview of the Calculator
Section 2: The Mode Menu
Section 3: Basic Arithmetic and Exponents
Section 4: Logarithms and Square Roots
Section 5: Sin, Cos, Tan
Section 6: Scientific Notation and Storing Variables
Section 7: The Math Menu and Catalog Menu
Section 8: Convert between Fractions and Decimals
Section 9: Finding the Min and Max of a Function
Section 10: Calculating Derivatives and Integrals
Section 11: Absolute Value, Rounding, and Integers
Section 12: Converting between Degrees and Radians
Section 13: Working with Complex Numbers

Disk 2
Section 14: Using the Equation Solver
Section 15: Graphing and Tracing Functions
Section 16: Using Tables and Split Screen Modes
Section 17: Find the Exact Value of a Function Using Graphing
Section 18: Finding the Zeros of a Function using Graphing
Section 19: Finding the Max and Min of a Function using Graphing
Section 20: Finding Intersections of Functions using Graphing
Section 21: Finding the Derivative of a Function by Graphing
Section 22: Calculating the Definite Integral by Graphing
Section 23: Drawing on a Graph
Section 24: Graphing and Tracing Sequences

Disk 3
Section 25: Graphing and Tracing Parametric Equations
Section 26: Converting between Rectangular and Polar Coordinates
Section 27: Graphing and Tracing Polar Equations
Section 28: Permutations, Combinations, and Factorial
Section 29: Working with Histograms and Box Plots
Section 30: Graphing Statistical Scatter Plots
Section 31: Calculating Mean, Median, Standard Deviation, and more
Section 32: Performing Statistical Regression
Section 33: Calculating with Matrices
Section 34: Solving Systems of Equations with Matrices
Section 35: Calculating Interest Rates
Section 36: Calculating Mortgages and Loans
Section 37: Calculating Savings and Investments

This 8 Hour comprehensive 3-DVD course teaches you how to use all of the major functions of the TI-84 / TI-83 graphing calculator by working example problems.  In this way, the student "learns-by-doing" rather than a long dry lecture or with the "aid" of a dry printed manual.
Can you believe all that is on there?  It is amazing!  These DVD's sell for $31.99 but are on sale for $26.99 when ordering through this website.  Go here to watch a sample video of the first section of this set.  I think you will be impressed.


The next DVD I was given to review was The Pre-Algebra Tutor Volume 1.  This set is a 5 Hour Video Tutorial with 2 discs that sells for $34.99 with a sale price of $26.99.  And it is worth every penny!

Again, I admit that I don't have a the greatest background in Math but even I found this DVD very easy to understand.  The explanations were thorough and clearly given.  While I think that the student must have a strong knowledge and grasp of the basic material to take advantage of this DVD, it would be most helpful in furthering their knowledge and getting a better understanding of Pre-Algebra. 

Here is a sample of the DVD:

This two-disk set includes:
Disk 1Sect 1 - Real Numbers
Sect 2 - The Number Line
Sect 3 - Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To
Sect 4 - Absolute Value and Adding Integers
Sect 5 - Subtracting Integers
Disk 2
Sect 6 - Multiplying Integers
Sect 7 - Dividing Integers
Sect 8 - Powers and Exponents
Sect 9 - Order of Operations

I had my 12 year old daughter watch and here is what she thought:

"Pre-Algebra Tutor was indeed a learning experience.  When my mom first told me it was 5hours long, I felt an overwhelming sense of awe!  But my mom let me watch it in sections and it wasn't nearly as bad as I though it would be.  I learned new things and actually understood it."

She doesn't like Math so this is saying something! is a great website with many things to offer.  You can buy the DVD's individually or you can become a Member and pay $19.95 monthly to have access to ALL the DVD's.  That is a great deal!  There are other benefits to Membership, go check them out here.

These DVD's are a wonderful asset to our homeschool and I know they would be to yours as well.   They would also be valuable as a way to supplement what your kids are learning in public/private school. 

To investigate these DVD's further or to place your order, here is the info you will need.
You may call  toll-free at:

Or Email  At: support (at)

Mailing Address is:
PO Box 1165
Seabrook, TX, 77586

You can find more reviews of this product at The Homeschool Crew Blog.

**I was given these DVD's as part of the TOS Crew  for my honest review and opinion.  I rec'd no further compensation.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homeschooling and beautiful weather

Today was a gorgeous day!  Unlike the last beautiful day we had I didn't make us trek all over the city on foot!  We did, however, move our school outside.

How could we not?  It was absolutely lovely out there.  Our front yard is covered by two large trees so it stays shady almost all day long.  Between the shade and the light breeze, we were almost chilly.  We really spent the whole morning laying about on blankets doing school work!  We got quite a few stares from passers-by and more than an occasional craning of the neck. heehee  I know they were wondering what we were doing; but no one asked.  ;-D

Lunchtime came and we went to the library-in the car!  It was a much faster trip this time. lol  Lunch was a treat of McDonald's.  Treat, you ask?  Yup, 'cause I didn't have to make it or clean it up!  And then we actually watched a little t.v.  It was an interesting episode of I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant.  That always stirs up such interesting conversations on biology, anatomy, and birth-control pills!  (not sure why we watched it actually!)

Afternoon school time found us outside again.  The girls made mosaics while I read.  (these mosaics were supposed to be done a few weeks ago, but at least we are getting to them, right?)  We started at 1pm and read straight through 3:30!  Homework time was a little short since we needed to clean up before Steven got home at 4:30.  Yikes!

Working so hard!  I forgot to post one pic, so I'll have to update later.

See the shade?  It was almost 4 o'clock by this point!
Listening to Botany and planting trees in Daddy's grass!!
Just because I like taking pics of feet.  ;-D

All was well and we mostly got the house picked up.  :)

It was a pretty good day with all of our school getting done.  At least I think so! lol

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

Labor Day has typically been quiet around here.  Not today.  Today is all about getting things caught up.  Caught up because some people that live here haven't been doing their chores.  I'm not naming names or anything, I'm just sayin' that it wasn't Steven or I.  What you surmise from that is up to you!

So, we have been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. 

We have been purging and gathering things up for our garage sale.  No, not mine.  Our homeschool group is having a garage sale to raise funds and help support the missions group we choose this year.

I have been painting.  I bought some chalkboard paint and am painting our pantry door.  I plan on using it to keep track of items that we need to buy.  We'll see how it goes!  I like it already though. (pictures will follow when it is done, it just needs to dry more)  I also painted the cabinets in our schoolroom with the chalkboard paint.  It looks so cool!!

Laundry is currently calling my name.  Not sure if I will heed the call or put my earphones in and ignore it.

Have a great Labor Day!

Random pics...

I took this as Steven was driving.  It was so quick but I had to get it!
One of the reasons I love Kansas!
The trees in our front yard. 
How could I resist this one? ;-D