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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hey God...Review and GIVEAWAY

I love telling my children Bible Stories.  I love listening to them as they think through them and ask questions I never would have thought of!  I love how their minds work and the innocence they possess.

I really love it when a product comes along that can help me teach my kids a love for The Word.  HEY GOD, I'VE GOT SOME GUY NAMED JONAH IN MY STOMACH AND I THINK I'M GOING TO THROW UP! is just such a book.  This book is adorable and creative in it's approach.  I love the illustrations and the different way of looking at the familiar story of Jonah.  In this book 'the whale tells his side of the story' and it is precious.  This is a great book for the grade school and younger set although I would have my olders read it to my youngers anytime the youngers wanted them to.  That way they are both hearing the Truth in the book!

How adorable are these illustrations?

In the back there is also a Parent Connection.  This is a page to help you as the parent connect the dots with your children and get them talking about the story.  There is also a Do section to put into action what they have learned.

This is a really great book that would be a sweet addition to any household.  And I have one to GIVEAWAY!!  More about that in a minute...

About the book:
Oh sure, we've all heard the story of Jonah and the Whale a hundred 
times. But have we heard it from the perspective of the whale who experienced that history-making event?

Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up! imagines how that great sea creature from the incident might tell his side of the story, helping kids ages 4 to 8 discover a creative way of learning about that guy who was supposed to go to Ninevah.
The "Parent Connection" feature (inside the book) will help moms and dads take the story further with scripture references and tips on how to talk with their children about what really happened. 

About the Author: 
Troy Schmidt has writing and video production credits ranging from assignments with Disney (The Mickey Mouse Club) and Nickelodeon to Max Lucado's Hermie franchise. He is currently the lead writer for The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on the Game Show Network. Troy and his wife have three sons.

The series:  This is just the first in a series!  Other books available include Hey God, Can You Stop the Rain so I Can Get off Noah's Smelly Ark? and Hey God, I'm Having an Awful Vacation in Egypt Thanks to Moses!

Brought to you by B&H Kids, Available May 1, 2013.
This book is just $9.99 and will entertain you and your kids!  Available here.

Facebook page for the author, please use:


Check out the links to find out more info on this great book and see the others in the series.

**Now for the GIVEAWAY.  I have one Copy of Hey give away to one lucky reader.  This can be an international reader as well!  To enter tell me you favorite Bible Story and leave me your email.  I will draw a winner on May 6th.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Saving Memories Forever -Mosaic Reviews

I wish I had stories from my grandparents and their siblings that I could listen to to hear their voices one more time and let me kids hear them.  Stories are passed down but there is something extra special in hearing them in the original storytellers voice.

Mosaic Reviews had the opportunity to review a product that will do just that.  Saving Memories Forever is an app and website designed to help you record and share family memories.

From the website:
Have you ever wished you could remember your parents’ stories about their childhood? Do you have relatives who you only see once in awhile, but whose stories you’d love to capture and keep? Have you planned to write down your family history, but just haven’t had the time? Saving Memories Forever helps families record, save, and share family memories “one story at a time”.

This is an innovative idea to preserve family stories and preserve them for future generations.  It is simple to set up and use with the App and their website.

I used the Saving Memories Forever app for my iphone and was able to pull it out whenever a story was told or I remembered something I wanted to keep.  Setting up the account was simple and took only a few minutes.

I downloaded the app and was instantly ready to get started.

You log in and see the above screen.  The option of Helpful Tips is useful and can be referenced each time you open the app if you need.  The next screen takes you to choosing the Storyteller.  You can set up each of your family members with their own entries.  That makes it easier to find specific stories later.  You can also upload pictures for each Storyteller.

After you choose your Storyteller you then choose a Category.

Once you have chosen from the above Category you move on to Selecting a Question.

These questions are great if you have someone that is shy to start with but gets talking once they have been asked a few questions.  There are multiple questions to choose from so you can move on to a different one if the first few don't strike your fancy!

Once you have chosen a question you are ready to begin recording.

When you are finished recording you can Playback to listen to it, Re-Record it, or Upload it to the website.  Once you have uploaded it it will appear in My Memories tab at the top of the screen.  It's that simple!

Wondering how much it costs?  Well, This Page has a great layout describing the differences in the Free versus Paid versions.  Check it out.  But, basically there is a FREE version, $3.99 a month, or a Yearly Fee of $40.  With the Free Version there is a charge for downloading the zip files of your stories but it is only $12.95.  With the paid subscription this service is free.

While you over checking out their website don't forget to check out the FAQ page, the About Us page, Fun Stuff, , and How It Works.  There are also tips on recording and using the app and website.  The website is full of great information you don't want to miss.

If you have stories you want to pass down to your kids and grandkids then Saving Memories Forever is just the thing for you.

It's over...

Well, the play is over.  We had four performances in three days and it is finally over!  Yes, I am really happy to be done for a while.  But also super sad because I love those kids and I love the theater.  But, I'm more happy than sad. lol

The performances Thursday and Friday went really well.  My nieces were in those performances as Princess Aurora/Briar Rose and Merryweather-main fairy.  They were outstanding!

Saturday's performances featured my girls.  ;-)  Sarah was Maleficent and Naomi was Flora, a main fairy.  They were amazing!  Sarah is a natural actress and played Maleficent with a lot of character and dimension.  She was outstanding!  But, we aren't surprised at that.  We have known that she is an amazing actress her whole life but it is always good to see it again!

The one we were surprised at was Naomi!  Not that we didn't think she would do a good job but we just didn't know how she would respond to having such a big role.  She has only had a very minor part in a summer camp before this and the night before the show she was sobbing she was so nervous!

She came out on stage and her face was so alive and captivating.  She used her whole face and interacted with the others on stage so well.  I couldn't be more proud of her.

She has definitely been bitten by the acting bug!

Pictures will come but I was directing and couldn't take any so I have to wait to get them from others!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spanish For You! --Mosaic Reviews

Okay, let me be very honest here.  We are completely incompetent when it comes to learning Spanish.  We have tried multiple times with multiple curricula and it has NEVER worked.

I have tried the big name programs as well as lesser known ones and have been frustrated and disappointed each time.  I know my kids need to learn a usable foreign language and so I feel a little desperate to teach one to them but I just can not find one that I can implement.

I am a Spanish teaching flunkie.  There, I said it.  I have admitted my shame.  *sigh*


We had the pleasure of trying another Spanish curriculum for Mosaic Reviews and I had high hopes.  (I always do until they crash and burn in the dust!)  I perused their website and anxiously awaited the material.  It came and I glanced at the book but was honestly scared to study it too hard.  I didn't want another failure on my hands.  I also received an email with the downloads for the lesson plans and audio files and started to panic a little.

I put it aside for a few days until I worked up my courage to try.  When I finally was ready try, I printed off what I thought I needed and started reading.  I should have paid better attention; but more on that in a moment.  I couldn't make heads or tails of what I was reading or how to put it together.  I got very frustrated.

I kept trying to figure it out but just couldn't.  I was failing at yet another Spanish program and my children were never going to graduate high school and would be failures for the rest of their lives.  Okay, it's a bit dramatic but I really was that frustrated!

I finally asked for some help and the light bulb came on.  I asked the right questions to bring to light the mistake I was making.  ;-)

Spanish for You! Estaciones is the program we are reviewing and Spanish for You! is the ONLY one we have managed to implement and learn with.  Oh yeah, we finally found something we could figure out and that everyone likes!  I am completely stoked about this program but wish they had a level for high school; that would make it just about perfect.

Here's a little about Spanish for You!:

Spanish for You! begins your child on the road to fluency. It is designed from years of experience by a Spanish teacher to effectively build speaking, reading, and writing skills as well as grammar knowledge. Students learn to creatively build sentences, ask and answer questions, and truly communicate in Spanish! And they have fun doing it!!
  • Self-study, family, or class use
  • Affordable - an effective, quality program to last an entire school year at a price you cannot beat!
  • Flexible - Go at your own pace.
  • Easy to use - Just follow the lesson guide & go!
  • Time Saving (and More Money Saving) - Use one package with students of multiple grades at the same time.
  • Fun - Uses simple games and activities to engage students.

Spanish for You! has a unique design where students learn to speak, read, and write Spanish through interesting themes. The books are designed to be done in any order rather than having to finish them in levels. As students complete books they become more skilled.

This curriculum is easy to use and flexible to schedule. You just follow the lesson guide at a pace that works for you. Families and schools especially like Spanish for You! because children of multiple grades can use the same book together. Activities are built in for interactive practice.

Spanish for You! is exceptionally affordable. With this curriculum you pay for the educational integrity of the content NOT expensive materials. All our materials (except book printing) are produced in house. Our program is filled with all the essential materials and engaging activities to provide an effective program.

There is so much more information on their website; it is worth your time to check out their About page, FAQ page, FREE Mini Lessons page, FREE Worksheets page, and other pages listed on their homepage.  

But for the moment I will tell you how we used it.  We received the soft cover book, audio files download, self-checking worksheets, and Lesson Plans download.  We also received the flash card pages we printed off and use constantly.  The files were a little hard to find but part of that was because I was trying to use the soft cover book as the Lesson Guide when it is the workbook for the student to use!  For some reason it was mixed up in my brain and once I figured that out it worked perfectly.    

I highlighted to help me 'see' the worksheets!
When you receive your book and downloads you need to print off the Lesson Guide for the level(s) you need and read those as well as reading the front of the soft cover book.  Each of these has valuable information you will need to read before you begin.  The Lesson Guide is laid out by the day-which I adore btw-and tells you exactly what need to do each day.  Let me tell you how valuable that is for a busy mom that simply can't plan out one more subject.  Plus, you can also use one soft cover book for all of your children!  (The TRIAL Versions only come with an ebook)  

I HIGHLY recommend this section! ;-)

Highlighting, underlining...whatever it takes to get me there!

Now, had I had my brain working correctly I would have been set; but I decided to take the hard way around.  This program really couldn't be laid out any easier than it is.  The Lesson Guide tell you exactly what to do each day for four days and they tell you the Worksheets you need, what exercises to practice each day, and reinforcements from previous lessons.  They also tell you what audio files to listen to.  Sweet!

Let's talk about the Audio Files for a minute.  There are two versions in the Audio Files-one from a non-native speaker and one from a native speaker reading the text.  Another thing I love about this program is that they read the ENTIRE PAGE for you while you follow along.  You don't have to try and figure out where they are based on a word or two that sounds vaguely like what you are staring at on the page.  They read the page word for word so you can hear what it sounds like.  I love that they include the non-native speaking person pronouncing the words because sometimes a native speaker can be hard to understand at first.  This way, you can listen to the non-native speaker until you are comfortable with pronouncing the word and then move on to the native speaker.  It's a win/win!

The flashcards are easy to make!
Okay, I could probably go on and on about this program because it is the only one that my kids haven't run away from screaming and crying.  Seriously, I'm not even kidding here.  They have actually enjoyed learning Spanish with Spanish for You!   My oldest, who is technically too old for the program but we did it anyway because she needed a basic groundwork in Spanish before high school Spanish, said, "This is the only one we have actually learned something with that I remember and have used everyday!"  That pretty much says it all.

This program is wonderful for another is AFFORDABLE!  I mean really affordable.  For the package we received the cost is $64.95 and that includes all I listed before.  This is for the Grades 3-8 package.  For me, that would cover three of my kids and possibly four if I include the Freshman.  Can't beat that price!  Here it is again in case you need reminded: 
See, the simple drawings?  They are that way to keep costs down!

ALL Spanish for You! packages come complete with:
  • soft cover book or e-book (currently only our trial pkgs.)
  • 24-30 week lesson guide for the grades you need (24 weeks for G5-6 & 7-8, 30 weeks for G3-4) (PDF download)
  • self-checking worksheets (PDF download)
  • audio files of entire book (includes bonus audio of native speaker of entire book) (MP3 download)
  • flashcard/activity pictures (PDF download)
  • *Teacher lesson plans are NOT included. These need to be purchased separately. Please visit our CLASS USE page for important information on using Spanish for You! with classes.

Or you can buy the individual packages for the grades, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8.  Each of those sell for just $39.95.  You can also buy an extra book for $12.95.  Besides Estaciones that we reviewed there is Fiestas that is a full program right now.  Viajes will become a full year long program after June of this year.

See what I mean?  Affordable and it works!  What could be better than that?  Don't forget to check out their website for the FREEBIES and great information about their program.

To see what other Mosaic Reviewers thought about Spanish for You! head over to Mosaic Reviews website and check them out!
I gotta run now...we are learning Spanish!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

WINNER This Is Our Time DVD

Okay, so this sickness has really wiped me out and kicked our families hind ends.  I am behind on house cleaning, school, reviews, and picking a winner for the DVD This Is Our Time!

So, here finally is the winner for the DVD...


I will email you and let you know.  :-)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Still behind

We started our Tech Week on Sunday the 21st and it hasn't stopped since.   Sundays rehearsal was a long one and a scary one.  It was the first tech run-through so we threw in lights, sound, sets, etc. and it threw everyone off.  We were there from 1:30-8:30 and it wore me out!

Monday we were back at rehearsal in the afternoon and it was a better one.  The kids settled down into their roles and started performing.

Tuesdays rehearsal was even better.  But by Tuesday morning Sarah was really sick.  I thought she had strep and let her go home from Monday's rehearsal early but a trip to the doctor revealed bronchial infection instead.  Yeah, isn't that great?  She plays Maleficent and has two shows on Saturday so we got her a shot and antibiotics.  She was able to do Tuesdays run-through but just barely.

By the time we got home Tuesday night I was on my sick bed.  I felt horrible and didn't care who knew it!  Wednesday morning had me waking up with a high fever, sore throat, achy joints, stuffy nose, and a cough.  I could barely move for the aches and pains.  And it only got worse throughout the day.

By this morning I had had enough and called for meds.  They called out steroids and a zpack for me.  I took all 6 steroid pills at one time and went back to bed.  Thankfully I was feeling a little better by the time we needed to be at Call Time.  I did make-up and helped get kids ready for the show.

Tonight's performance went well.  There were a few rough spots but the kids did a really good job.  They had fun and looked great.  We have three more performances between Friday and Saturday with our two kiddos performing in both shows on Saturday.

I am tired.  Super tired.  I am ready for this week to be over and to slow down a little.  At least before the summer schedule begins!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Catch up

It seems that no matter how hard I try I keep falling behind.  In everything.


So, I'll just start where I'm at.  ;-)

Last weekend, Bethany had a soccer weekend.  More like extended weekend with a home game on Thursday and two away games on Friday and Saturday.

We lost all of them.  :(

Thursday's game was a hard fought game but the other team was way more physical, read dirty, and had excellent ball handling skills.  Bethany took a few hard hits from a certain player before she gave what she got.  The girl didn't bother her after that! lol

Friday's and Saturday's games were hard to watch.  The offense and midfield seemed tired and left the defense to work their entire side of the field alone.  No one came back to help, except a few players who were fighting hard, so they played four defenders on at least eight opponents.  It was tough but the defenders fought hard and should be proud.  It wasn't the way they normally play so it was even more frustrating.

Saturday's game was much the same.  I had one very frustrated defender by the end of the weekend.  But that's life and learning to lose is part of it, right?  There will be times when the defense messes up and the offense is playing more than their share and then they will be the frustrated ones.  Then there will be games like ones they have already had when they are all hitting the mark and are on fire.  Ups and downs are the name of the game.

Sometimes no matter how much you train or how well you know how to play it just doesn't come together.  That's true in sports and in life.  We watched footage this week of a professional soccer player who was defending his goal and went to kick the ball out and accidentally tipped it into his own goal.  Yeah, he knew how to play the game, trained to win and in one moment made a mistake.  It happens. And being that it's high school soccer and not life and death I think it will be just fine!  ;-)

The team had a great time socially in between games and grew closer together.  I drove a group of five girls to and from the games and carted them around the town.  They are super sweet girls and thankfully no one but me snored that night! lol

The rest of the weekend was low key and spent at bed...sleeping!  I was so tired I couldn't function right.

Monday rolled around and was filled with theater practice and soccer practice and general craziness.  Tuesday was school and BSF.  Wednesday I got to have coffee in the afternoon with a dear friend and Naomi had gymnastics.  Thursday we had two sickies in the house; almost three but the mom doesn't get to be a little sick does she?  Today we are talking about getting formal dress for Bethany so she can attend a formal dance in May!

That's us in a nutshell.  Maybe next week I will keep up a little better.  But then again maybe not.  Next week is tech week with four performances Thursday-Saturday...don't count on hearing from me anytime soon! ;-)

Monday, April 15, 2013

This Is Our Time DVD Review and Give Away!

You know I love movies!  I have another great one to tell you about.  A warning though.  This is not a happy go lucky, everything turns out all right in the end kind of movie.  It is a real look at hard things and how to handle them while keeping your eyes on God.

This Is Our Time, distributed by Pure Flix, follows the post-collegiate lives of five friends connected by their strong belief in God who all long to make a meaningful difference in the world. But when tragedy strikes the close-knit group, their friendship and their faith are tested in ways they never imagined.

This is an inspirational film about what it really means, and what it really takes, to follow the call of God in your life.   “The experiences the characters in THIS IS OUR TIME face are the kinds of real-life ups and downs, successes and devastation, all of us encounter in living life,” said Lisa Arnold, the film’s writer, director and co-producer. “I wanted to tell a story that would resonate with young people just stepping out into the world to make their mark that would help them see that no matter the circumstances they face, God is always with them, loving them, guiding them.”

The movie tells the interwoven stories of Luke (T.J. Dalrymple) and Alé (Erin Bethea), who marry right after school and move to India to serve as missionaries for Embrace A Village, a ministry that cares for those afflicted with leprosy and their families; aspiring financier Catherine (Kate Cobb), who joins a prestigious financial institution determined to make an impact on corporate America; Ryder (Matthew Florida), who lands an impressive job in social media and can’t wait to use the powerful medium for a greater good; and Ethan (Shawn-Caulin Young,) seemingly the odd man out, who struggles to find his God-given-purpose and feels sidelined by God.

“What they all come to learn is that it never really was their time,” Arnold said. “It always was, always is, God’s time.”

This Is Our Time is a powerful movie that will encourage you in your walk with the Lord.  We all go through hard times and things that seem insurmountable but This Is Our Time shows us how to see God in those times.  It is not an easy story to watch but it is worth it.  It is a two hanky movie to be sure.  At one point I actually moaned out loud to keep from crying even more!  I loved the way they showed the characters struggling with events in their lives and not just giving the pat answer, "it must be God's will."  They wrestled with their grief and anger and struggled like we all do sometimes.

If you are looking for an uplifting family movie, this is the one for you.  I might not suggest it for young kids as the subject matter might be tough for them to process but it is a great conversation starter for teens and older kids.

If you want to check it out for yourself, here are some websites to visit.  Don't forget to check out the trailer as well.

**If you want to win a copy of the great DVD, leave me a comment and tell me how God has worked in your life this week. I will draw a winner on the 22nd!

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Epic Parenting Fail


There are multiple Parenting Fails in this post.  It has been one screw up after another lately.  You have been warned.

Monday we had our Dad's Night/Spring Showcase for our homeschool group.  I forgot to tell any of the grandparents.  Not a one of them knew.  I completely forgot about it.  We had our Pancake Breakfast for our theater group on the Saturday before and my focus was on that.

Fail #1

None of the grandparents got to come and see the kids sing.  Don't I feel great?  Yeah, not so much.

Fail #2

I forgot the camera to get pictures of said singing.  I have no documentation to show anyone.  Awesome.

Fail #3

This is the big one.  I am warning you now, it's ugly.  It's not one I have ever done before and hope to NEVER do again.

After the singing that no family member witnessed we helped clean up before leaving.  The kids were spread out playing and helping clean at different intervals.  They kept buzzing around talking to me so I didn't think about keeping tabs on them.  They were surrounded by familiar faces that help take care of them.

We finished cleaning up and headed to the van.   We loaded up the van oh so slowly and then started to drive away.  Steven and Bethany were in his car preparing to leave as well.  We pulled out of our parking lot but instead of leaving we decided to mess around with our friends.  They were in their SUV and pulled around to face us.  We started playing chicken.  Now, don't get upset with me we were both going like 1mph!  We stopped about two feet away from each other and just sat there talking smack to each other.  It was pretty comical, really.

But, in the midst of this comedy another friend came out of the church and approached the van.  He was smiling but he wasn't really smiling.  He said words to me that I will never forget.  They stopped my heart and flooded me with panic.

"You do know you are missing a kid don't you?"

"What?  No, I'm not."  I looked back and saw all the kids I was supposed to have.  I thought about the kids Steven was supposed to have and turned back around to our friend.

"Naomi's inside."  He said.

"WHAT???"  I started panicking a little more.

"Yeah, she's under the slide just sitting there."

"Are you kidding me?"  I thought if he was that I just might jump out of the car and hit him.

"No, I just saw her. She's just sitting there.  all alone."

I yelled for Sarah to run in after her as I started berating myself for leaving my child alone in a building.

Thankfully, we still had friends in the building so she wasn't alone but she was without her family.  I know that anyone of those other families would have taken care of her, brought her home, or called us right away but still.

Sarah came out with her and I could have sobbed with fear, guilt, relief, and anger.  I was angry with myself and with her.  She knows better than to not check in with us every few minutes and she knows better than to 'hide' from us to stay with her friends longer.

More importantly, I was angry with myself for allowing this to happen.

I felt like a bad mother.  Still do.  It was an epic FAIL that I may not ever fully get over.

WINNER!! Janet's Planets

The winner of Janet's Planets is...

One Blessed Momma!  Yay!

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Ultimate Homeschool Planners Review

It's the time of year that we homeschoolers start thinking of next year.  I know, I know, we aren't even done with this year yet but that's what we do!  We are constantly on the lookout for things that make learning easier for our kids.  And life easier for us!

The Ultimate Homeschool Planners by Debra Bell are just the ticket.  I have raved about these before but I get to do it again.  Homeschool Mosaics is proud to review The Ultimate Homeschool Planner for Moms, The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens, and The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students.

If you have never heard of these planners then I have the pleasure of introducing them to you.  I have been using this planner like crazy and I adore it.  I carry it with me all the time and am constantly checking it, writing in it, and checking off assignments.

I am seriously in love with the Mom's Planner.  I can not recommend it highly enough.  There are so many aspects to it that are fantastic that I won't be able to cover them all; but trust me, it is awesome!

I am going to try and tell you as much as I can without being too long-winded. (I could talk about them a long time!)

First of all, the cover is a soft cover that is bendable but durable.  There is a pocket on both the front and back covers to keep important papers and it is spiral bound so it opens fully and easily.  It is a big planner so there is plenty of room to write in.  The first few pages are informational-like filling in the name of your school, students, etc.  The next is a letter from Debra Bell & Zan Tyler and a Table of Contents.

But right after that is the User's Guide and let me say this, DO NOT SKIP THIS SECTION.  It is super important and will really help if you read it.  There are helpful tips for using these planners, scheduling, planning, and ways to keep from getting frazzled.  There are handy pictures with descriptions to teach you how to use the planner.  Let me say again, DO NOT SKIP THESE PAGES.  Read them and then re-read them.  I underlined, highlighted, and made notes in the margins on these pages.

After you have devoured the wisdom of the User's Guide you can move on to filling in your planner!  Woohoo!  Okay, to me this is fun but I'm strange like that.  ;-)

 Here is a bullet point list of the pages for quick reference:

*Year at a Glance-Love this bc the WHOLE year is on two pages
*Student Goal Setter-great to compare at the end of the year
*Family Priorities-a fantastic way to get the kids involved
*Resource Lists for each student-easy way to keep it all together
*Monthly Calendars for the entire Year-the month on two pages with room to write
*Weekly Planner Pages-these include Bible Plan, Battle Plan, Prayers, and places to record the weeks Memorable Moments, and Evidences of Grace.  Right after that is the Weekly Planner where you record assignments for each child. I love, love, love these pages.   I love showing the girls how God is working each week.  I also love the space to record assignments.
*Records Pages for grades-I don't use these but they are handy I'm sure!
*Reading List pages-If you have a literature rich curriculum these are handy
*Activities Log-also handy to keep track of extras for transcripts
*Articles on Learning, Learning Styles, and Teaching Tips-articles full of wisdom and encouragement
*High School Planning Guide-this is invaluable.  This alone is worth it for me.  High School Planning with an example to guide you.  Awesome!

That's a lot, right?  But that can't even begin to encompass this planner.  This Planner is blank, meaning that you fill in the days/dates so that you can use it whenever your year begins and ends.  You are not stuck with a Jan to Jan calendar if you school June to July.  It is completely adaptable to your school calendar.    Yes, it is a little work to fill it all in but it is well worth it.  

Now, I do love this planner but I did make a little modification to mine.  I put sticky tabs on the pages so I knew where each section was at a glance.  That makes it just about perfect!  If you want to buy your own head over HERE.  This planner is $28 and worth every penny.  Oh, and don't forget to check out the new cover design!

The next planners are the Student Planners.  The Weekly Planner is for high schoolers and the Daily Planner is for younger students.

Each one is completely filled with planning pages, month-at-a-glance, how to's, Activity Log, and way to many more to list here.  These planners are so crazy full of stuff you just won't believe it.

The Student Planners are smaller so they will fit easily into backpacks.  Which is nice BUT for our curriculum my high schooler doesn't have enough room to write in all of her literature assignments.  For that reason we wish the High School planner were larger.  We still love it, though.

The Student Planners have the same kind of cover as the Mom's Planner so they are durable and you don't have to be afraid of messing up the covers.  You know, when they shove them in the bottom of their backpacks and cram the rest of their books on top of it!

The Student planners have something my 11yo squealed over...stickers!  In the back are stickers they can use to put throughout their planners to represent appointments, practices, etc.  Now, I would squeal over them too if mine had them.  I might just have to 'borrow' some from the kids!

Now one of the reasons you need to be sure and read the User's Guide is because these planners are designed to work together and teach your students to become independent learners.  Both planners work together to teach the student to plan their work but then helps the mom keep them accountable for their work.  I can't tell you how many times this system of checking off the assignment in each book has reminded me of a lesson that needed completed; saving frustration later in the week.

If you want to get your own Student Planners head HERE for The Daily Planner and HERE for the Weekly Planner.    The Student Planners are $19 a piece.
Head on over to Apologia's website and check them out for yourself.  While your there don't forget about their Science Programs and other books by Debra Bell.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Winner of What I Wish I Knew at 18

Chilly Willy won this book too! Rock on!

Winner of Home Run

Chilly Willy is the winner of Home Run! Woohoo!

She loves the game anyway

Playing for the Warriors has been a dream come true for Bethany. We love the coach. We love the team. We love the uniforms! Lol

She loves it even though she was injured last night at her game.

The game was a real nail biter. We started out slow but fired more shots on the goal than the other team. We scored first but they followed with a fast goal that should not have counted. Seriously. Their player had such a hand handball I thought we started playing baseball. She held the ball in her hand and directed it toward the goal. Ugh

But our girls answered with a tough defense and a fighting offense. We held the score down to 1-1 until just before the end of the first half. They scored a goal when our defense got caught in the mire and couldn't help the keeper.

It was a little disappointing but considering we were playing a private school team that is really good-we were pretty happy. And our girls were still smiling and working as a team.

The second half started quickly and we spent a majority of the game on their end of the field. We fired more shots on the goal than they did by far. Probably 4-1. Our offense was really driving to the goal. The other teams keeper was outstanding, she was hard to get around and her defense let her down on two of the goals.
The score stayed 2-1, the other team, until just about five minutes before the end of the game. Our girls fought hard for the goal and did it! It was so exciting. The excitement was short lived though. The other team had possession and Beth charged them. They kicked the ball and she quickly took control of it. The other team was moving in fast so she reared back to boot it. She has a pretty hard kick and she was going for it on this one. She kicked it good and hard right before a girl from the other team charged. The ball left Bethany's foot and immediately hit the other girls ankle area. It bounced off her and like lightening made a bee line for Bethany's face. It hit her square on the nose and dropped her like a ton of bricks.

We waited for her to get up. She always gets up. She is a tough cookie, as her coach says, and she has only ever stayed down three times in nine years. One was a concussion from the same kind of hit, one was a cracked rib, and now this one. I wasn't too worried until she just didn't get up. She was on her hands and knees facing the ground. The ref called the coaches over and my heart started pounding. They kept her down for a few minutes and then finally after an agonizing amount of time walked her off field. She looked a little woozy as she walked and it took all of my strength not to run over there and rescue her.

see the swelling on the bridge?

They sat her down on the bench and tended to her. But she was benched for the rest of the game. :(  But at least it was only about five minutes. But that entire five minutes she was sitting there looking at the ground. She barely even watched the game. I knew then that she was hurting more than she let on.
The girls on field held on to the tie for all they were worth. We were thrilled with a tie! A win would be better but a tie is nothing to sneeze at, right? We were celebrating the tie when another parent told us they were going for overtime.

Ugh, our girls were tired and I could tell that Bethany was frustrated she wasn't going to get to play. But the refs called them back on the field for two 5min quarters. There would be no shoot out so whoever scored the most in these extra quarters would win.

No pressure, right?

Well, our girls stepped up. They fought hard and fired shots on the goal while defending theirs. The first five minute quarter passed with no score. The next quarter started with much anxiety on the field and off. We were on pins and needles.

The five minutes was flying by with no score when with just about a minute left one of our girls broke away, passed and we scored! It was fantastic. The girl fought until the end and came out the victors.

All in all it was a great game. Thankfully Bethany will be able to play next week in all three games. I don't know if we could have lived with her if they had told she couldn't play! She does love this game!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Exciting times

Mosaic Reviews is really amping up and some great things are coming.  I am super excited about some of the upcoming things I get to review.

We are still looking for reviewers if you are interested in working with some great people.  You have to be serious about reviewing and actually post reviews on your blog.  If you can do that then this would be a neat opportunity for you.

At the top of the page is a tab with Team Applications on it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Really? You're gonna say that to me?

So I was at the doctors office for quite a while today getting some tests done and I encountered something I wish I hadn't.

I had been there for almost four hours when the tech came back in to take out my iv. She was chit-chatting and it came around to us homeschooling. Now, normally I am not one to shy away from telling people we homeschool. I am proud of the fact and I love to talk about it.

But today that backfired.

As soon as I said we homeschooled she started lecturing me and telling me all the bad things about homeschooling.

Seriously. I'm not even kidding.

I sat there for a few minutes listening to her tell me how important socialization is and that they can only really get that in public school. Being around their friends was at the top of her list for reasons for going to school. Not get an outstanding education-socializing with friends. Bleh, what a load of...

I can't even say what I was thinking. :(

I listened to her telling me about how if you farm out the subjects like Math, Science, English, History, and 'subjects like those', then you could probably homeschool just fine. "You wouldn't want to get outside your knowledge base you know." "I mean how could you teach your children things like Math and Science when you don't have any training." Yes, she really said these things. I was getting more and more angry with each new ridiculous thing she said.

She made mention of 'those' types of homeschoolers that never get out of their houses and so their kids never learn to be with their peers...this is when I couldn't keep silent any longer.

I just couldn't.

She brought up socialization again and so I said with as much calm and respect as I could, "I wouldn't send my kids to school to be socialized. I've seen how those peer groups act and I don't want my kids acting like that. I don't want that kind of influence in their lives." She looked at me dumbfounded and I went on. "Socialization isn't the reason kids are in school, education is and frankly my kids are better off at home with me."

Yeah, not sure I won any points with her but I get so tired of people speaking from a place of complete ignorance regarding homeschooling that I just couldn't take it anymore. Tell me where in the real world do people only interact with others in their peer group? College maybe? It certainly isn't that way in the workplace so why is it the best model for education? Life is about getting along with people of ALL age groups, races, abilities, etc not just the ones that are the same age as you.

She has obviously never met my kids and has no idea that they are just about the most social kids there are yet they have never set foot in a school setting. So her theory about going to public school to learn to socialize is complete bunk.

Now, before anyone gets all up in arms mad at me let me be clear. Yes, I homeschool and yes I think it is the best for our family. I also think the public school system is broken and is failing. Not every school is bad and not every teacher is awful. I happen to know some fantastic teachers in the public schools and the students in their classes are fortunate to have them. It's just the system as a whole that's the problem.

No, I don't think every family should homeschool and I don't try to make people feel bad for sending their kids to school. Each family needs to decide what is best for their kids and family. For us it is homeschooling. But when people talk about homeschooling with authority and they really have no stinking idea what they are talking about through personal experience then I get mad. I went to public school and I can tell you firsthand how it failed me. I can speak to the holes in their system because I fell through them. I can also speak about the bad influence some of the public school kids have had on my own kids because I have seen it firsthand.

I can also tell you that some of my children's best friends over the years have been public schooled kids and I have loved them dearly. But they introduced things into my kids' lives that stole a piece of their innocence and that is not okay with me.

My job as a mother is to protect them long enough that they get to be kids and innocent as long as possible. No, not everyone agrees with me and that's okay. I'm their mother and you are not. Blunt? Yes, but true. Why would we force our children to lose their innocence and grow up before they are ready? That is the exact opposite of what a parent should be doing.

Okay, enough of my rant. I'm done complaining about rude ignorant people for now! lol

While I welcome comments if they are snarky or rude I will delete them. I like to have discussions but won't tolerate nastiness.