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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Betrayals in Spring Review

Betrayals in Spring by Trisha Leigh is the latest installment in a new book series, The Last Year, our family discovered. The first book Whispers in Autumn started the whole deal. I found it for free on a website and it sounded intriguing. It took about three chapters and I was hooked.

Winter Omens is the second book and I bought it as soon as I read the last words of Whispers in Autumn. I started reading it right away and couldn't put it down.

So when I had the chance to preview Betrayals in Spring before it came out I jumped at the chance. Literally.  I HAD to read this book. I had invested in these characters and wanted to know how their stories evolved.

Thankfully, I was able to do just that. I finished Betrayals in Spring but I'm not satisfied. The story didn't end with this book, I will of course be waiting with baited breath for the next one, and I am completely shocked at what happened in this one.

Don't worry, there are no spoilers in this review. I don't like it when people do that so I try not to. But I will say that this was another page turner that had me forsaking every day life to sit down and read! Betrayals in Spring had me so involved that it was all I thought about. Yes, I am a little OCD and once I start I have to finish but this story just needed to be read.

Okay, so if you don't know anything about The Last Year series let me give you a little synopsis of each book:

Whispers in Autumn:
In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.

Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn't content at all, and she doesn't need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she's Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.

The autumn she meets Lucas, everything changes.

Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.

It's not who they are that makes them special, but what.

And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good.


Winter Omens:
Althea and Lucas barely escaped the Others' clutches int he autumn, and were separated in the process. Alone and on the run from the cruel alien race determined to exterminate her, Althea struggles to adapt and survive in a world she never imagined.

When a boy named Pax appears out of nowhere, he quickly recognizes Althea for what she is-a human/Other hybrid just like him. Althea begs him to help her find Lucas, but Pax refuses, intent on following his own mysterious agenda.

The Others' presence continues to devour the planet's resources, and if history is an indication, they won't leave until Earth is destroyed beyond repair. Althea and Pax sense the only way to save themselves-and maybe their home-is to understand the powers simmering inside them.

Together they push the limits of their capabilities in the quiet Wilds, but are soon confronted with a terrifying fact: no place is safe from the relentless pursuit of the Others.

Least of all their own minds.

I know, right? This story of Althea, Lucas, Pax, and many others is wonderfully written. It is engaging and enthralling. I love the depth of the characters and the fact that we get to know them so well. We invest in their lives and care about what happens to them.

The Last Year is a great combination of Sci-Fi, romance (just a little and not a main focus), adventure, dystopian society, courage, hope, desperate acts of kids put in a grown up situation, and so much more. I have read all of them, my 14 yo daughter has read them and loved them, and my husband has read them. He loved them too! In fact, he was surprised how good they were. ;-) He did say that the romance between some of the characters was a little too much for him but he's a man and wants action, action, action! Let me just say that it wasn't enough to keep him away from the books. lol

Betrayals in Spring is another fabulous installment in this series that runs through the lives of the characters a mile a minute. At several points I was breathless with anticipation and then crying the next minute. There were twists and turns I wasn't expecting; which is saying a lot because I am pretty good at figuring out the plot of most books. I have to honestly say I thought I had this one figured out but in the final pages a twist occurred I wasn't expecting. At all. That's all I'm going to say about that. Don't ask, I won't tell.

Just read it for yourself.

I recommend this series if you liked the Hunger Games. In fact, that is why I started with the first one-it sounded similar. And it is. But it isn't. The Last Year is a bit better in that the violence factor is dialed down considerably compared to the Hunger Games but the character development, plot, and level of personal involvement the reader has is every bit as strong as in the Hunger Games. The Last Year is a story you could read many times and discover new things each time. I love the Sidhe characters and even the Others. They are given life and reasons for doing what they do, not just characters going through the motions because the author decided that's what they were going to do. I have to admit that I am concerned with and for the character Kendaja; I know I shouldn't be but I can't help it. Trisha Leigh has given this awful Other three dimensions and made me care about why she is the way she is.

There are so many other characters that we get to explore and care about that it is a wonderfully crafted and rounded out story. There is enough insight, information, and personal inspection from the characters, without overloading us with the minutia of it all. The details are vivid and alive-you can almost feel the crisp, winter air or the fragrance of the flowers Trisha describes.

Did I mention that I love this series?

The Last Year is a post-apocalyptic YA series that has appeal for all ages. Now, I wouldn't recommend younger than 12 or so, probably. I am fairly strict with what my kids read until they can read with discernment and have serious discussions about what they've read. But, I would have no problem with my 12 yo reading this series with me. 

You should really check this series out for yourself.  Betrayals in Spring is out TODAY!!  Buy them all and let me know what you think. 

The next one can not come out soon enough for me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Family Night Revolution

Well, since you already know I am a bad blogger I am just going to go ahead and post this. In August we had another installment to our Family Night Revolution. It was awesome!

This time it was Olympic themed since the Summer Olympics were going. And...we decided to invite another family.

But, before the other family arrived we had our movie night. We opened the Concession Stand and sold out of a few items! I know they were storing them up for later but I let them anyway. As long as they had the money.

The movie we chose wasn't the best one for Family Night but we watched it anyway. War Horse just about did us in. lol We didn't get through the whole thing before they got here so we finished it afterward.

When the L family got here we got started. We drew names of countries and paired up. As it happened we had the biggest kids paired with the littlest! It was pretty cute.

We moved outside for the games. Yup, games. We had Track and Field events all lined up in the front yard. The first event was a Three-Legged Race. Three teams had to start at one end of the yard, circle around the first tree, run to the second tree and circle around it, then run back to the first tree to make one final circle around it. The two fastest teams from each heat ran in the final race.

I'm not going to say who but someone from the L family cheated to win. He might have squished a younger member of our family into a tree to win, but ya know...whatever! heehee

The next race was a relay race. In this race the countries combined into two teams to compete. The first leg of the relay had to be run while spinning in circles, the second leg had to be run while showing off your best dance moves, and the final leg had to be run while singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

There was a 'tiny' bit of cheating going on during this event as well but I'm not going to name names or anything.

When it was too dark to have outside games we moved in to the Wii. We played Dodge Ball, Tennis, Soccer, Synchronized Swimming, and threw in Figure Skating just for fun. It was pretty fun watching the guys try and master the swimming and skating! heehee

We played well into the night with a winner who is a big cheater pants but then again another country thinks that they won! Unfortunately we can't declare the Gold Medalists because the countries can't agree on who cheated and who didn't!

It was a great Family Night and we hope to repeat it sometime soon. The next Family Night Revolution we are back to our Double Feature...I just have to choose the movies!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Sparkle Box Review and GIVE AWAY!

**Disclaimer: My laptop is being wiped clean and fixed so the pictures are not the quality I would normally include in a review but the ipad wouldn't cooperate with me! **

For years I have been dismayed at the shift in thinking about Christmas. It has become increasingly about giving and getting presents. I know I have heard several conversations with our kids and their aquantances and the talk is always how many gifts they got and how much they cost.

That is so sad to me. Christmas should not be about gifts. Don't get me wrong, getting gifts is great; but, it shouldn't be our soul focus. We should focus on the reason we give and get gifts-because God gave us the ultimate gift in sending his Son to us when He wrapped mortal flesh around an infinite God. That is best present of all.

So, when I was offered this book to review I jumped on it.

I was not disapointed. This book is exactly what I was looking for. This book is beautiful in its message and the pictures are scrumptious. I love this book. The Sparkle Box is one I would recommend for every family wanting to get back to the simpleness of Christmas.

What's it about you ask? Let me tell you:

"Here is the touching story of a young boy who unknowingly participates in a powerful new Christmas tradition: honoring Jesus on His birthday by giving to others.

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He's thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family's good deeds. Sam's mom explains that the things that they've been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him."

Look at these pictures...

Didn't I tell you it was beautiful? While I was sitting on my bed reading The Sparkle Box, I started crying. Crying for the simplicity of the message that resonated in my heart and for the reminder of what we should be focusing on at Christmas. I can not wait to get our Sparkle Box set up and filled!

Want your own copy? Head over to Ideals Books and pick up your copy for $19.99.

Don't forget to visit them on Facebookor follow these other great links to find out more about the book and the author and illustrator.



Book Trailer:

Author Video:

Want to win a copy for your own family? I have one copy of this wonderful book to give away, just leave a comment telling me one tradition you have in your family. I will draw a winner on November 19th. Oh and don't forget to leave your email in your comment so I can contact you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

What a week

Well, last Thursday our 7yo, Bean, collided with someone while she was riding her bike. Instead of falling on her knees she put her hands down to catch herself. Yeah, that's what I said.

She came over to me and I checked her out and she appeared fine. She continued to play the rest of the afternoon but was favoring one arm. She continued holding her arm up and complaining the entire evening. Later that night we went for ice cream and I grabbed her for a hug and accidentally squeezed her arm. Her knees buckled and she started crying. I felt super bad. :(

We decided we would watch her and see how she was in the morning.

It wasn't any better the next morning. She would use it but it was pretty painful. So, I decided to take her that afternoon to our doctor and family friend. You know the one that we pay huge amounts of money to constantly. Yeah, that one.

He examined her and thought it was broken. Now, on one hand I was wanting it to be because who wants to go to the doctor and have it turn out to be nothing. But then again, you don't want it to be anything because then something is wrong. Right? Oh the joys of being a mom!

Anyway, the x-rays showed an unusual amount of swelling. And a hairline fracture. ugh

He didn't believe it was bad enough for a cast and the swelling was too great so he put it in a hard splint. The plan was to keep it in the splint for a few weeks.

That was the plan anyway.

Until she just couldn't walk like a normal human being. On Tuesday of this week she was "walking" up the stairs like a dog, don't ask it's just what she does, when she lost her balance and fell on her arm. She heard a pop. You read that right. I didn't say too much bc what am I gonna do. That and I was pretty upset so I kept quiet.

Then she went to gymnastics the following night. She was jsut supposed to do some cartwheels, splits, and things that didn't invlove her arm. That didn't turn out so well. She ended up doing the bars and using both hands to hang with. Oh yes she did.

We went to the doc the next day. He talked to her about obeying and doing the right thing then he told her that because she hadn't listened when we told her not to do those things she would have to have a full cast. We marched to the casting room and got a cast.

Two weeks in a full cast. It's going to be a long two weeks for everyone in this house!


Friday, November 2, 2012

New Blog App...

Maybe one of the reasons for not blogging as much is my laptop is quickly dying and my ipad isn't cooperating with me and blogger. I had one app that was supposed to work but I couldn't figure out pictures and links and ...

So, now I have found another app that claims to make blogging with the ipad a breeze. We shall see. I don't actually believe it but decided to give it a try. Blogsy here I come...

Going to try and upload some pics...


It actually worked pretty well. I will have to experiment some more but I think I might like it! Woohoo!

Why can't I...

Why can't I seem to keep up anymore? I feel like one of those nasty little hamsters that is stuck in a wheel and all I can do is run. There are certain things on that wheel with me and they get done but if it isn't on the wheel then it is forgotten.

Am I too busy? maybe. I'm not sure. I don't think I am. I am just feeling apathetic about a lot of things. I can't seem to want to put down my thoughts or share what is going on.

I am also lazy. It's true. I am by nature a lazy person and if I'm given a choice between doing anything and sitting down with a book, movie, or tv show...I will choose sitting down doing nothing everytime. Sad isn't it?

But that's where I am. I know present circumstances are compounding the problem but I can't seem to get around it. Life carries on even when you don't participate.

Maybe if I put blogging in my planner it will help...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Field Trip

Our homeschool group took a field trip to the Eisenhower Museum today.  Steven was able to take off work and come with us and I am so glad he did.  We had a great time!

I can't wait to share the wonderful pictures but they are on my phone! lol 

If you don't know about Eisenhower I strongly suggest you learn more about him.  He was a man of integrity and strong moral character.  Steven and I are searching for a biography to read and learn more about our Kansas native. 

Of course we are getting ready for World War 1 in our Tapestry studies so we will be learning more about him then as well!  I love it when history invades our every day lives!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

School, school, and more school

School is still going at a harried pace.  I can't believe we are approaching our second Sabbath Week of the year.  I have to admit that I am so stinkin' happy for Sabbath can't get here soon enough. 

No, school isn't going badly.  It's pretty good in fact.  I am just tired.  Life is unsettled right now and drama is keeping it that way.  :(

We are doing pretty well with our Tapestry of Grace so far.  We are on track and getting ready for our first Unit Celebration on the 20th.  A few projects are in the works and hopefully everyone will get them done in time! lol

Sunshine is doing great with her high school classes at our Homeschool Group.  I am so thankful that our group offers high school level classes for credit and that the teachers love what they teach.  Have I mentioned lately that I love our homeschool group?

Auditions for our next play are coming up and I can't wait to get it started.  The kids are so excited they keep asking about it every week!  It's going to be another great performance I just know it. 

Life marches on when we aren't looking and I'm sad to see the girls growing up so fast.  I will treasure each moment while I have them.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Impromptu Field Trip

On a trip in May we stopped off at a place I have seen for years and had never stopped to see it.  Steven agreed and we stopped to investigate...

It was an old schoolhouse.  Perfect right?

We were all in homeschool heaven!  I have had the pics on my phone for forever and am finally getting them posted. 

Isn't it beautiful?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Some Pains are too deep

It has been a while. A long while.

School has been going really well. We are staying on track and getting stuff done. Life is moving on at a rapid pace.

But sometimes there is too much going on to talk about it. Some pains are too deep to put out there for everyone and their dog to see.

That's where I am. There has been something going on in our house that is just too painful to put into words. I probably won't ever blog about it actually. It will stay within our family and remain private. Some things just have to be that way.

But, that means that I don't feel like writing on here. My heart is heavy and I just don't feel like sharing. Anything. This place is where God has us for now and I am sure that He will walk us through it. He has a plan and we will wait on Him to show it to us. He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it. I am sure of His faithfulness. I am sure of His love.

I will wait on the Lord.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Planners or not?

Do you use a planner?  Do your kids?  If not, why not?  If so, why?  I am curious.  I know there are some in each camp and I like to hear the differing opinions on each side.

In our homeschool we use planners.  I use one and I have each of our girls use them.  It is something I wish I had learned to do in school myself.  To learn to manage your own schedule and assignments is a real life skill that I think is sorely lacking in our society.  No, I am not trying to make a sweeping generalization here, I think on the whole our children are not taking responsibility for themselves and the things they need to do.  It is our fault as parents and our fault as a society. 

No, not every kid.  No, not every family. 

Okay, now on to the planners.  Like I said, we use them and I wouldn't have it any other way.  When the girls start 2nd grade they get their first planner.  I buy a cheap, simple one from Rainbow Resource but there are planners everywhere.  At first I have the child copy the subjects to each day in the same pattern every day.  Beside the subjects I have them write, "1 Lesson a Day."  After a lesson is completed I have them put the Lesson number or page number on the same line.  By the end of the first week the planner is filled in with Subjects and completed assignment pages. 

Sometime during the second or third week usually, they begin to see a pattern.  They start asking questions at the beginning of the week about how to write their assignments down before they do them.  I will have them plan out one subject at the beginning of the week and keep doing the rest the same way as before.  They are so happy that they are figuring it out that they don't realize it is *work*! 

Usually around the third month or so of planning they have a pretty good idea of how to do it and are doing it with help from me.  There isn't really independence in planning yet, but I know it will come. 

By the time they reach 5th grade they are almost completely independent on their planning with just a few questions.  Peanut, our 5th grader, is totally independent in planning her school and has taken to it like a duck to water.  She thoroughly enjoys breaking her assignments down and scheduling them out.  But then again, she loves school! lol

My 8th and 9th graders are completely independent now.  There may be a few questions here or there but they plan out their own studies for the week.  I check them on Sunday evenings to make sure they are getting them done and through out the week they are bringing me their planners to check assignments off as they are completed. 

I use our Ultimate Homeschool Planners a little differently than Debra Bell suggests but it works for us.  She suggests that the mom plan out the work and then the student copy from her planner to their own but I do just the opposite.  I make the girls plan their studies out and then copy it into my planner.  Doing it this way, I can see how well they are dividing up their assignments and using their time.  I can also catch any problems that need addressing.

I haven't always done it like this and it has bitten me in the hiney.  Our children need us to teach them independence, accountability, and responsibility for themselves.  Who better to do that than the people God entrusted them to?  Is our system perfect?  Oh no!  We are messing up way more than we are getting it right most of the time.  But we are trying.  We are down in the dirty trenches every day struggling with each other and figuring it out.  (mostly!) 

Friday, August 17, 2012

The first week

The first week of school is done and I am amazed and thankful at how well it has gone.  There were a few bumps-read attitudes-along the way but all in all it was a great first week.  I am still using my Ultimate Homeschool Planner and still absolutely loving it.  The older three girls have the student/teen version of the Ultimate Planners and are loving those as well.  They are just about perfect!

I know not every week will go this smoothly but it gives me hope for the year, ya know?  Now that I will have four full-time students with a toddler thrown in and three part-time students I need every bit of...something.  I don't even know what.  I am doing what I love with kids that I love.  How does it get any better than that?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

All About Bug

So Bug's language and personality has exploded!  She is not only jabbering up a storm she is talking.  A lot!  Her language base is crazy big now and she can effectively communicate just about anything she needs.  We love it!

This post I am going to share some of the great things she says now.  She has us laughing every day with the new phrases she comes up with.

When I asked her to help pick up some trash she looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said, "I can't want to."  I just stared at her.  Yeah, I know the feeling baby girl!

She wrote on herself the other day and when I noticed it on her arm she covered it up and said, "Don't see it." 

If anyone is leaving the house she will say, "Hey, where are you going people?" 

To get our attention she will say, "Hey, guess what?"  When you give her your attention and say "What?"  She looks at you and says, "Um..."  Then her face lights up the biggest smile.  Love it!

When she wakes up from her nap and she is ready to get out of bed she will go through the list of names to get someone to come and get her.  If no one comes right away, she starts yelling, "Somebody come get me."  heehee

Lately her phrase is, "I need..."  She will tell us that she needs popsicles or whatever else there is.  At breakfast she 'needed' more cereal but she was yelling at us so I told her to ask politely.  She paused for a moment and then said, "I *need* (said with a guttural growl) more cereal, pwease!"  We laughed so hard.  She was trying to be nice but the growling was just too cute.

Of course she has the typical 2yo response to most things, "I do it."  She has figured out how to take her diaper and pants off proudly proclaiming, "Look!"  It's not too bad unless it is 'loaded'! lol

We are working her off of her pass but she will ask for it and say, "I need pass for a little bit."  The answer is no and she always looks up with her huge eyes and says, "just a wittle bit?"  It is hard to say no to that!

I think one of my favorite thins is when someone is crying or upset, she will walk over to them to hug them.  If they are crying, she will find a towel or tissue and dry their tears.  It is too precious.  She is also starting to tease.  She will walk toward us with her arms raised like she wants to be picked up but when you get close enough to do it she cackles and runs off yelling, "Run, faster!"

Life is not boring with this little sprite in our house!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another First Day

Today was the first day with the three extra kiddos, Sparkles, Rocket Boy, and Sprout.  I was a little nervous adding three kiddos to the mix but it went swimmingly!  There were no problems and we actuall got all the work done for the day.  It seemed to actually help keep everyone on track having someone in their grade with them.  They wanted to have free time so they kept encouraging one another to finish!  Peer pressure can be a good thing.  lol

I am super excited to see where this year takes us.  Our Tapestry studies are all in the 20th and 21st Century and I can't wait to see the kids discover history coming alive. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Day

Today is our first day of school.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  I am ready for the new books, new adventures, and the new schedule.  As in nothing else going on kind of schedule!

Unfortunately our first day didn't go quite as planned.  We had tears, broken light bulbs, forgotten material, sleeping late, and running out of food.  And that was just in the morning! lol

But, I wrote about that in my next article for Homeschool Mosaics so you will have to head over there and read it on the 3rd of September!

In this post I am going to tell you about the lessons learned on our first day of school.  And they weren't even found in a text book.

1.  I learned that life can carry on even if I have forgotten to print off the material we need for the day. 

2.  The kids will believe it if I tell them that I had planned to make pancakes all along!

3.  I am not a bad mom if I give them the rest of the day off after lunch on the first day of school.

4.  The relationship with my kids is more important than the book learning.  (Not that book learning isn't important but their character is of more value in the long run.)

5.  Laughter really is the best medicine.  Especially when you are laughing at yourself.

6.  Curdled milk will still smell on your shirt 10 hours later.

7.  Drinking more coffee after lunch helps keep you awake for read aloud time.

8.  Falling asleep during read aloud time is a guaranteed way to get a great nap with no interruptions!

9.  Forgetting that you have to make supper for the family makes for a rushed and unhappy evening.

10.  Having a hubby that will buy supper for the family on said day is a blessing.

Our first day wasn't what I wanted but it sure was one for the memory books!

Friday, August 10, 2012

2012-2013 Curriculum

This year holds a few changes in our curriculum choices.  We have some that are the same, ones we love, but are adding new ones that have all of us excited. 

This year I have a Freshman, and 8th Grader, a 5th Grader, a 2nd Grader, and a 2yo.  Plus, I will have another 8th Grader,  5th Grader, and a 2nd Grader on Tuesdays and Thursdays! 

Here is what we are doing:


IEW's Student Writing Intensive B
IEW's Fix It
Tapestry of Grace
Math U See-Geometry
Fallacy Detective
Visual Latin
Apologia Biology

8th Graders-Sweet Pea and Sparkles:

IEW's Student Writing Intensive B
IEW's Fix It
Tapestry of Grace
Math U See- different levels
Visual Latin
Apologia General Science
IEW's Phonetic Zoo
Getty-Dubay Italics

5th Graders-Peanut and Rocket Boy:

Writing Tales Level 2
Christian Kids Explore Chemistry and Physics
Pen Time Handwriting
Tapestry of Grace
Spelling Power
Math U See-different levels
Visual Latin-just watching

2nd Graders-Bean and Sprout:

Growing with Grammar
Spelling Power
Pen Time Handwriting
Tapestry of Grace
Math U See Beta
Considering God's Creation


Bug will be working on playing for short periods of time by herself as well as cleaning up her toys! lol  We will continue with our workboxes and start learning colors.  Potty training will probably be in there somewhere when she is ready! 

Plus, we will have any classes through our homeschool group starting in September as well as the theater group I will be co-directing for and soccer season commencing.  It is going to be a full year with one in High School and one in Pre-Pre-K.  But I am excited about it. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Baptism in our future!!

We had a meeting tonight with our pastor about getting Peanut baptized!  She has been wanting to be baptized for over a year but we were waiting for the right time. 

Now is the time.

Our church is doing baptisms at a lake this weekend and we want Peanut to be included.  The meeting went well and she is on the dockett for the baptisms.  She can't wait.  She is super excited and so are we. 

It's going to be a great weekend at our house!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A week of preparation

This week as well as doing a theater camp I am getting us ready for school.  I am a little stressed quite frankly.  This year we are going to have three extra kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help out their family.  We love these kids and this family so it won't be a huge thing but preparing for the extra kids is more work than I thought! lol  That's kind of sad isn't it, that I didn't think three more kids would be work.  Doesn't speak too well of me does it?  In my defense though, they are going to be doing all the same curricula that my kids are so it isn't all new stuff. 

Anyway, I am printing off our Tapestry workbooks, the IEW materials, workbooks for Christian Kids Explore Science, and figuring out our schedule for the year.  Not too much, is it? ;-)

I know once it starts it will all smooth out but for now I am stressing a bit. 

I know what will help...buying new school supplies!! heehee

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Theater Camp(another one!)

Monday marks the start of another theater camp this summer.  The last the summer.  Thankfully.  I have loved it so much and am so glad I did it but it was just one more thing in a crazy busy summer. 

This weeks show is Annie.  I love the show and can't wait to see the kids on Monday morning.  I also can't wait to see Bean in her first audition and show.  She is so nervous she is crying though.  Bless her heart! 

I have all the choreography finished and am a little nervous to see if the kids can do it.  I may have been a little too ambitious with some of it! lol

For now, I will live in the fantasy that this is for Broadway and they will all be stars!  ;-)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Great Day

Our youngest has been asking questions about salvation for several weeks now.  She listens to the answers and then thinks about it for a while.  She eventually comes back with more questions.  We haven't pushed or prodded her bc we want this to be her decision when she is ready for it. 

Well, the other day she kept asking me if I would help her with something.  I was busy printing things for school and getting ready for the start of the year so I kept telling her that I would later.  I thought she was asking for help with a craft project.  They are always creating something so it wasn't a big stretch. 

Friday night she sat beside me on the couch and asked if I could help her in the morning with something.  I told her I would try but I had a bunch of stuff to do.  She sat there for a minute kind of looking sad but didn't say anything.  The Holy Spirit whispered to me that I needed to ask what she wanted help with.  When I asked her she said she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart and needed help. 

Oh my word.  I immediately told her that we were not going to wait for the next day we were going to run upstairs, get daddy and talk to Jesus.  As we were waiting for Steven, Bean started crying.  Sunshine(14) saw her and scooped her up thinking something was wrong.  They were hugging when I told her that Bean wanted to ask Jesus to be her Savior.  Sunshine started crying too!  lol

We called everyone up and knelt around her approaching the Throne of Grace.  It was a wonderful moment that I will never forget.  She was crying she was so happy.  She looked over to me and said, "This is the best day of my life."

Yeah, God is good.

I can not wait to see what God has in store for this amazing young lady. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Just can't

I seem to be in a lull.  I can't keep up on my blog.  So much is happening and life is being lived but posting and blogging are so not happening.  I am hoping with the start of school I will get back into a regular schedule of blogging and chronicling our lives.

For now, we are trying to plan school and survive one of the busiest summers on record.  Did I mention I didn't like how busy we were?  I didn't, don't, can't, won't and whatever other word describes an extreme dislike.  lol

School planning is actually going pretty well.  We are pretty much ready to start on Monday.  I think. 

I am going to post our choices in a few days(actually tonight since I am post-dating again but hey at least it's getting done right?).  A few new choices but mostly the same. 

I am deep in the trenches of printing, planning, organizing(okay not that much organizing but I sure am thinking about it and I like all the shiny new things that other people use in organizing their homes), and freaking out at having a high schooler. 

Yeah, life is real interesting here!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Marie's Words Timberdoodle Review

Is vocabulary important to you?  Are you impressed by people that know words others don't *and* know how to use them correctly?  Do you want your kids to have an amazing vocabulary?

If you answered yes to any one of those questions then I have just the thing for you. 

Marie's Words is a very simple yet highly fun and effective product from Timberdoodle.  Never heard of it?  That's okay, I will tell you all about it!

"Because we remember faces easier than we do names, it follows that learning vocabulary with colorful illustrations to help with recall is a more effective plan than merely studying lists of words and their definitions. Marie's Words features a full-color, hand-drawn illustration on one side to show the word in a way that helps your child recall the meaning more easily."
I find this to be so true in my life.  I can remember a face so much more easily than a name but if I can put that name with an associating picture I can remember both.  What an effective tool to give our kids as well as our selves. 

Marie's Words gives parents a tool that is easy to use as well as highly effective. 
550 Vocabulary Words Gleaned From the SATJust as a logo is a visual representation of a company, Marie's Words utilizes colorful illustrations to create a "face" for each of the 550 vocabulary words gleaned from the SAT® test and literature. While some of the illustrations are not immediately apparent, once understood, each drawing will aid in mastering the definitions of these words and is a natural augmentation to your child's study of word roots. On the reverse of each Marie's Words card is the phonetic pronunciation, definition and part of speech, the word used in a sentence, synonyms, and antonyms.

550 words!!  Can you imagine if your children or even yourself could master these words-you would then be the one impressing people with your vocabulary!  I know I found words in Marie's Words that I wasn't sure about or flat out didn't know.  Now I do. 

Now, before you think that Marie's Words isn't for the younger set, let me tell you that young kids can use this almost as easily as the older ones.  They just might need a little help reading the words but the pictures will secure the words and definitions in their minds.  Everyone can use Marie's Words. 

When you order Marie's Words you get a small box; don't let that deceive you.  This little box is chock full of cards with tons of information on them.  Each card has the word and an associated color picture on one side with the word, phonetic spelling, definition, a sentence, synonyms, and antonyms on the other.  The cards are numbered in the upper left-hand corner and a hole on the upper right-hand corner.  The numbers will make it easier to put them in order and the hole is perfect for putting the cards on a ring.  The cards are the perfect size for easy handling. 
Included in the box are instructions for two different games.  They are easy to understand and easy to play.  This is an open the box and go product.  As a mom of five I love that.  I love that the rules aren't confusing or something that can be argued about.  I mean, let's face it, if there is any wiggle room kids will argue about them.  Right?

I have been so impressed with this "little box" of cards.  I have loved how easy it was to use and how well it teaches the words.  Marie's Words is absolutely worth the $23.99 from Timberdoodle.  As a bonus I found a little slip of paper in the box that says, "Picture Words-in a Flash!  Marie's Words is also available in app stores for the iPhone, iPad, and Android."  How cool is that?  In this technological age this app would be priceless for our kids to have with them wherever they go. 
I highly recommend Marie's Words.  It is a great tool for any family.

If you want to find out more about Language Arts from Timberdoodle head over here and check it out.  For a FREE catalogue (which I HIGHLY recommend!) head over and fill out this form. Want to connect with Timberdoodle on Facebook?  Head over to their page and Like them.
As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Marie's Words in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.