Five Minutes

This weekend I have spent my time in Phoenix Arizona.

Working as an area area manager for World Heritage Student Exchange has been quite a blessing. Even in the short time that I have been a part of this wonderful group of people.

I admit that I was quite unsure about coming to Arizona when I was first indicted. Having never been away from my little ones for this long there was a lot of anxiety within me. But my husband insisted that the time away would do me good.

Through the years we have hosted a number of foreign exchange students. We have had some amazing experiences and we have had some very disappointing ones but through it all we have learned so very much.

I think one of the greatest blessings in being here has been hearing a few of the scholarship students speak about what this year has meant for them. Hearing the joy and seeing the appreciation they have for this opportunity truly warms the heart. And hearing these youth were so young yet have such big plans it is inspiring.

I am reminded as I listened to the students speak about the value of our actions. It is so easy for all of us how to say one thing and then do that which is easier. But you here these students speak who are so far from home and yet are so involved and determined to make a difference in their community here and back home…. It reminds me of the importance of moving my feet.

I consider all that we could do if we stop talking about it long enough to get started. I think about how so often in the Bible when Jesus said something there was an immediate action. When he said follow me, people followed without hesitation.

The Bible says that we will do greater works but we cannot do those works if we do not move our feet.


NatureGlo’s eScience Review {MathArt Online}

My oldest son really struggles with math. He is very bright, very creative too but really lacking when it comes to motivation for this topic. He and math and not very good friends. Yet there is great value, that is just perhaps not recognized fully, in mathematics. For that reason I was very interested in using the MathArt Online 4 class bundle. NatureGlo’s eScience program was something that I was certain could be the answer to many of our woe’s. It is designed for ages 12+ with the intent of helping them to see those connections in the real world. It also incorporates: math, art, history, science – all in one class. If you ask me this is a wonderful way to show our children how things are so much more than they seem. There are so many connections that can be made if we are simply willing to slow down a bit and look. Whether you use this in addition to a standard math program, as a unit study or just something fun to renew an interest in learning in your kids, these classes are sure to spark an interest in learning once again. And for kids who really need see “why” I think this is a perfect fit!

Each class is approximately six weeks in length and include various materials: study guides, interactive tools, slide shows, videos and links to outside resources to help encourage a greater understanding. The four classes we received in this bundle were:

  • Math Connections with the Real World
  • MathArt in Ancient Cultures
  • Mathematics in the Arts & Sciences
  • MathArt – Patterns in Nature

For this review we focused on Math Connections in the Real World. This course started with an introduction to the golden ratio and the Fibonacci numbers. It also included information on the history of them both. As we began this program, I was sure that I had no idea what either of these was (I had thought I knew before….). Math has never really been my thing; if it had been taught to me this way perhaps things would have been different!

As we moved through each class there were materials to download ; sometimes it was a sort of lapbook, there were activities to complete and a fun quizlet to ensure we were paying attention (match definitions – how fast can you complete this?) . Can I just saw how amazed I was with all the stuff packed into each lesson? So many examples given, to really help our kids to see these things, in their own life. The keys on a piano, the number of keys, are Fibonacci numbers. Even composers, throughout history, have used the golden ratio, in their music! We were thrilled to learn about the number of petals in a flower consistently following the Fibonacci sequence. My super musically inclined son really enjoyed finding out about the connections between the golden ratio and music. There are 13 notes in the span of any note through its octave; a scale is composed of 8 notes, the 5th and 3rd notes are the ones that create the basic foundation of all chords, and are based on a tone that combines 2 steps and 1 step from the root tone or the 1st note of the scale. There is even the opportunity to make some Fibonacci cookies! Colorful and tasty too.

With all the resources out there learning can really be an adventure. At the same time, it can be hard to find the right stuff. Thankfully these classes have done that for you! Everything is laid out so Perfectly! No need to put anything together or look for those materials; they are right here. She even lays it all out for you in a handy course checklist. Perfect for my son because he is so easily distracted. Takes some pressure off of me. There is no doubt what needs to be done. Everyone is encouraged to complete at least one small project per week and then share it on whatever platform you prefer. What a fun way to see others’ perspective on what is being taught.

Each class has about six lessons with a variety of activities to enhance learning. There are quite a few videos included with every lesson (great for my oldest son!). I have to say they were all excellent – I think I watched many of them along with my son. These were all very engaging; I think there were a few we watched that led us on our own little adventure, somewhat separate from the course, as we delivered a little bit more into numbers, patterns, nature. I was amazed at the material that is available online. With all the resources available to us, this is easily a topic that we could get lost in for quite some time. I was amazed I planned on this being something my oldest did independently but honestly so much of what was taught was new to me. And I really do love to learn!

There is so much amazing stuff to learn in these programs! I know this is slowly changing how my oldest son sees mathematics. He is such a lover of art (always drawing and doodling – more of those than problems completed on his worksheets haha) and because of this program, he is suddenly eager to complete the other classes that are a part of this bundle. He is sketching and drawing; he is seeing connections between the music he studies and plays and ins in turn gaining a greater appreciation for math.

While I am not really one for using online materials in our learning, this is one of those that I definitely would make an exception for. Especially for kids who are really struggling to connect those dots. These classes are fun, they are very eye opening and encouraging in so many ways. It is so much more than math, or science – it is a course of relations and understanding. It really helps i t all make sense; bringing these more topics which are challenging, boring perhaps to some , to life. Because of all the resources provided in these classes this can easily become quite an adventure for a curious child interested in understanding “why.” If you are looking for something different, that is fun and will bring that love of learning to life in your home school, you need not search any more. This is it! Guaranteed. 🙂

Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

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I Don’t Know

My boys have been taking an archery class for a couple weeks now. A great little company not far from our house. The guys are so friendly and excited to have my two boys there. My boys were so curious about everything!

It’s been an amazing experience so far. It has shown us some strengths and it is also showing us some weaknesses.

My younger son is just a natural at this sort of thing. Anything for that matter that requires attention to detail and a precise way of doing things he excels at. Naturally.

My oldest son on the other hand struggles with this sort of thing. He is very impulsive and active. He’s constantly doing a thousand things and thinking a thousand things all at once. He makes me tired just sitting next to him some days. Haha

It was hard to believe let us this class progressed we saw the jealousy the older brother has towards the younger brother. We saw some frustration. We heard him begin to refer to himself as stupid and idiot.

And then he made a bigger mistake and his instructor had him take a day off of class. To think about the rules and safety issues that we need to be aware of always when we are learning something like this. And I guess it really upset my oldest son because after our next class I received a call from the teacher about something written on a wall. And it wasn’t very nice.

How forgiving this place is. And these people. You see who people really are when something happens that is against them and if they still show kindness and compassion. Regardless of my sons mistakes they were not kicking him out nor were they holding anything against him but we’re concerned for him and their relationship with him.

When my son was confronted he vehemently denied the whole thing. A couple times he said things and gave away details that made me sure that he did indeed do what we thought he did. How awful is that. How awful is the pain in the shame within him? Not to mention my own horror as his mom. Pondering what we did wrong and where perhaps what we talked didn’t get caught?

I am so grateful for wise women who are friends and warriors in the prayer room. It’s a challenge knowing that my son was listening to that voice speaking lies and hurts, causing him shame and pain. That there was so much sadness and anger bottled up within. and that he could not admit any of it to my husband or myself. Truly the devil seeks whom he may devour. We must be alert.

I walked away and left him pondering this act that was done by someone. And after much prayer, some time later that day he came to my husband and acknowledged what he had done. He acknowledged the anger that he felt for being pulled out of the class the one week which was when he scrawled this phrase on their wall. Have you felt singled out even though he did wrong and just not good enough.

He knew what he did was wrong and he kept this from being discovered for a while. When he was caught sneaking about over there it was because he was trying to undo what was already done. What an opportunity to share and teach about the value of our words and our behavior. I couldn’t have taught him a more powerful lesson myself. For him to act in a moment of anger and realize when he calmed down the damage that was done and know that it was too late to do anything but confess.

The Bible tells us to be quick to hear but slow to speak and slow to Wrath. It also tells us how important it is to be meek and temperate.

How often do we ourselves feel left out? I wonder how many times that voice Whispers in my ear that I am not enough. Perhaps it encourages me to compare myself to that wonderful mama at church who has it all together and who is always a vision of peace and serenity. Maybe it reminds me that my kids failure to understand decimals and long division proves that I am nothing but a failure.

I think of how many times the Bible tells us that we need to be transformed by the word of God. We need it to renew our mind. We will not naturally think those thoughts that are true and right and good. We must have the will within us the drives those promises and words so precious given to us by the Lord himself into the front of our mind that whenever the enemy comes in the word of God floods him out.

We never know what’s really going on in someone’s heart and mind. It isn’t hard to walk around with a smile on your face. It’s about truth and it’s about love. It’s about knowing that God is more than enough.

Parenting Made Practical {Review}

I am told I would make a great professor. With my oldest son being in a constant state of rebellion (I fondly refer to him as my rebel without a cause as of late) I know all too well how often I fall into lectures. Every time thinking , this time it might work out differently. Suffice to say I was more than happy to review Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think by Joey and Carla Link of Parenting Made Practical, I also received the DVD also entitled, Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think. If you have children from the age of eight, all the way up, you may want to consider giving this one a peek!

This book is part of a series, “The Parent’s Night Out.” The ultimate goal. To get our kids motivated and thinking for themselves. Who needs to lecture and threaten and yell and nag when they have the ability and the desire to do the things that need to be done each day? (It sounds SO impossible right?) Yet the truth is, if we can get our kids to own their days and their responsibilities, things can be so much simpler.

parenting made practical

I’m the first person to admit when it comes to my oldest son but I just don’t understand him. And I suppose as he gets older if it comes that much harder. I don’t know the right questions to ask. And I clearly don’t ask them at the right time.




There are some heart issues we’re dealing with. Unfortunately I need to read this book to recognize that myself. Do we recognize the specific temperament of our children? It really does make a difference and how we interact with them. We cannot guide them if we do not understand them.

How to soften that heart. Perhaps the answer is actually a question. If we ask the right questions and at the right time we can guide our children into one covering their own sin. Because it was only when they recognize and acknowledge the sending their heart that we can truly move forward and begin the process of restoration.

There was also a DVD provided; the content is the same however the presentation is of course a bit different. It is certainly entertaining as well as very informational. In this you can see visual scenarios acted out and then dealt with. First one way, and then in another way. See the difference. Being that I am much more a reader than a viewer, while I appreciated seeing some of this “in action” I definitely devoured the book more than once. I like to mark things up, underline, highlight…Make it my own. 🙂




As I read the pages within the simple book again and again hit a smile sometimes wipe a couple tears and admit but there was so much that needed to change. How could there be so much that makes so much sense but I just didn’t know until now? I really am ever so grateful for this book. I do believe it is beginning a new season in our home. A season in which we live the phrase with responsibility comes freedom and we simply ask the question do you have the freedom?

Parenting Made Practical {Reviews}

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Five Minutes ~~ Tired

Do you ever feel like this? I know I do. Lately it seems like I feel this way a lot. Even writing this post I’m just tired.

Perhaps it’s the cold winter; maybe its the season we are in. God’s way of encouraging us to rest. A reminder that when I am weak God is strong in me. Have I been leaning too much on myself and not enough on the Lord?

I have never been one to rest.

There’s something powerful about true rest. Not what most of us think of. But rest as something other than going to bed and pulling the covers over our head. It’s not just sleep.

I’m the first to acknowledge that I don’t really know how to rest much less what real rest is. I thought I knew.

But because I refuse to continue to be tired I need to understand rest so that I can live in a state of rest. I think of those who sat at the feet of Jesus. How well rested were they. How full of joy and peace? I want that for myself and for my home.

I read how ” we are weary because we forget about Grace. We act as though God showing up is a miracle but God showing up is a given. Grace is a fact. We will must remember our true task and surrender everything. For his yoke is easy and his burden is light. While we may be insufficient Jesus is not.”

When I am tired it is such a blessing to read and remember but I I’m not what matters. Whether it’s my marriage or my home or my children and their education. God is only asking me to live obediently and Faithfully. I need only to trust in him and follow his spirit. He is always in charge. Always in control 💖💖

When I am tired I will rest in him. I will slow down and like Mary I will sit at his feet. And as I sit at his feet I will receive the bread of life and that living water that will renew and refresh me.

Perhaps in these times that I am so very tired I can truly experience that peace that passes all understanding. But it is an opportunity to lean on Him and to rest in Him.

Cursive Logic Review {The Art of Cursive}

There has always been something about cursive writing that relaxes me. I myself have always enjoyed writing; regardless of today’s culture where it seems to be so rare to hand write anything, I do believe there is something special about the written word. Of course my children do not necessarily feel the same way. But this is one of those things that must be taught and so it was a great joy to have the chance to review the updated CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive from CursiveLogic. Along with these amazing books we also received 6 month access to the CursiveLogic Online Seminar – Presented by Linda Shrewsbury (its about 45 minutes in length). This is full of wonderful tips to assist in the teaching while also explaining the “why” of it all. I have always thought of handwriting as truly being a form of art and with this, it really is!

Did you know that the word cursive actually means “a running hand?” the idea being, that we are to write without raising our pencil but leaning from left to right. Did you know that research shows that there are many benefits to writing in cursive? For example, it has been shows that cursive writing improves development in the brain in the areas of language, memory and thinking. It also stimulates the synapses in the brain and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres. How about aiding in greater fine motor skills? And if you can write it, you can surely read it. How many amazing old materials are written in this hand? There really are just so many good things that come from learning to write cursive!

This is a ten week program which I chose to use with my younger son who is eight. Prior to this we had never really worked on cursive writing so this was really something we used with the intent of introducing him to this form. He has never really been a fan of handwriting and while we tried a couple programs with him, in the end I admit that. I kind of gave up for a bit. Ironically shortly after I let go, he began to come to me asking me to help him with writing some of his own stories and riddles. Sometimes I guess it really is all about timing!


When we received this book, he wasn’t certain he wanted to learn cursive (and write like a girl) but when his little sister offered to do this instead, he got very motivated! She did too so we had to get a book for her as well. My kids are excited about cursive! One of the things that is really nice about this is that it begins with four weeks of practicing lower case letters (are my kids the only ones who write in upper case all the time?). Following, are four weeks of practice on upper case letters. Ironically I never thought it really mattered what we started with; with my oldest son, we started with the letter A and went through to Z. With this method letters are taught and grouped together based upon the shapes; there are four groups and the letters in each one are letters that have a similar form. Lesson one begins oval letters; to help guide your hand as you go along just say, “Oval over, back-trace…..(state letter name).” We are reminded as we go through each to make sure that each string is properly traced so that a proper foundation for future lessons is well laid. No matter what we are doing, have to have that firm foundation!

These lessons also include learning a proper grip as well as correct posture (position of your body and placement of your hand). One of the things my younger son has always complained about with handwriting is that it hurts his hands and he gets tired quickly. With this program, we learned some great exercises to prepare him to write. There are five basic steps to each lesson: first you focus on forming the initial stroke, then you being to trace each letter, moving on to tracing connected letters and then you add the first stroke and trace the letters. The last step? Independent writing of course. In this way a more automatic form of writing is promoted and with catchy phrases, it is easy to remember the form and movements needed as we write.

As you progress through the pages of this book you will begin to trace and form not just letters but also words and then sentences and then names of places; quotes from famous documents and historical speeches! We haven’t gotten to that part of this book yet but did look over things so he would know what is to come and we even listened online to a couple audio recordings of some of the material that is to be copied. So fun! A bit of history alongside some handwriting.









And in all my prattling on and on I almost forgot to mention the most beautiful and relaxing way to reinforce cursive! The Art of Cursive! Isn’t is just beautiful?


With dragons and ballerinas, lovely flowers and the most inspiring quotes, every page is so inviting!  This was a wonderful way to encourage them to press on, in their handwriting. Since each of them had a favorite picture they hoped to complete, it was a wonderful “reward” for work done each day! All of my children were eager to complete a page or two! This is such a fun and it’s tiring way of doing handwriting. I love how it is brought out a desire within my children not just too write but also to create.


I admit, even I wanted to take a break and just relax and color. 🙂

For the month of March you can purchase the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack, with a 20% discount!

With so many great benefits to learning cursive why not start right now?

The Art of Cursive & Quick Start Cursive {Cursive Logic Reviews}

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Falling apart to come together

Our house is crazy loud.

Sometimes that really gets to me.

I have been in a season where I really had to admit to myself how much I just did not like what we are all becoming.

The idea of home education has always been one of encouraging and inspiring a love of learning. Maybe we don’t always sit around having great conversations and provoking one another to deep thought but there is a peace and a joy. Lately it’s all a battle.

Bible quizzing it’s something we do and have done for as long as I can remember. It’s something we have always felt very strongly about. Learning the word of God and having fun while making friends. That is supposed to be what it is all about. But lately it’s just one more thing we fight over.

I look at the walls that need to be patched up. The ceiling that is cracked and falling in and are brand new kitchen. Shaggy carpet that’s old and ratty and covered in stains. Paint peeling off the walls….. this winter has not been good to us.( maybe not as bad as I make it sound)

I read somewhere that our physical house is a reflection of our spiritual one. I have to say I do not completely disagree with this either.

I think of when we first moved into this house period when our oldest was about 5 years old. It was clearly a house in need of love and attention. And we fully intended to really make this house a home.

But then life took some unexpected turns. Isn’t that always how it goes? Our family grew. There were changes in the work that we did. I came home to be with my children.

All of those things that we saw and meant to repair that pushed aside. Instead of taking the time and investing in our home we put it off. And as my husband determined more and more that we simply need to move to a bigger house so to those projects that pushed aside for when it’s time to move to that bigger house.

I get so frustrated some days as I look around at our little house that I once loved so. The poor condition at home is in saddens me. I know it takes time and I know it requires money. I realize that my husband and I are not naturally the handy type but I wish we could try. Something.

Lately it feels like everything is a battle. I have grown tired of looking at the dirty walls and the stained carpet. The walls that need to be patched and the little repairs that need to be made aren’t so little right now.

It isn’t that I need to have a big fancy new house. It’s just that it’s so hard to think on beautiful and lovely things when surrounded by such a mess. It brings me back to pondering my own house.

If my physical house can be such a mess what does that say for my spiritual one?

I can only wonder on these days when I just feel empty and broken what the Lord has planned. I listen and sing along to the beautiful truth that there is nothing too dirty but our loving and merciful God cannot make worthy.

I remind myself that this world is not my home. While our house may be too small it is warm and it is safe and it is enough. While it may never be as clean as I would like I remind myself of the blessing that my four children truly are. Even on the worst days I remind myself how quick they are to Proclaim that they have the best mom ever ( even though I really am not and many times feel they deserve so much better) The hugs and the love that they share are priceless. Their creative spirits are beautiful! a simple joy in the simple piece that I pray I can emulate.

The list piles up and it seems the tasks will never be complete. There will always be something but perhaps in this fragile time it is good that we slow down and that we learn to rest. In this imperfect World there will always be something to bring us down. It’s all about our perspective.

I pray today that the Lord would transform and renew my mind. That I would focus on those things that are pure and lovely noble and true and good. No matter the situation I pray that the Lord fills me to overflowing with His spirit and with His love and grace and mercy. I pray that my light will shine so bright that there will be no doubt no matter how dark it seems that I am His and He is mine. Today I determine I will be in one mind and one Accord with my Lord.

The joy of the Lord it is my strength.

Magic Stix Washable Markers {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review}

One of the things I most love to see my children doing is creating! My old,est son is very artistic. Doodling and sketching ALL the time. Sometimes when he is supposed to be doing something else (math maybe?) and his younger brother and sisters are eager to learn and create some cool things just like their big brother. For awhile now we have really enjoyed using Kwik Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc.; when the opportunity arose to give their 24 pack of Magic Stix washable markers a try we were happy to comply.

My six year old daughter literally squealed for joy when these arrived. She loves drawing and has quite a few books and stencils she likes to use to create flowers and rainbows, unicorns and fairies. Since she has been very creative lately, taking an interest more in more in drawing and doodling, this was such a timely thing for us to receive. Almost immediately my daughter got to work coloring some pictures in her princess book.

Since I have four children ranging in age from two to twelve who are all little budding artists I am always eager to find something that they can all use. with as little mess as possible (or at least with an easy to clean up mess!). When I saw that these say they won’t dry out with the cap off for seven days I was curious. We didn’t intentionally try this but we did lose a cap or two. Don’t quote me on it but I think two or three days later we found those caps and thankfully these were indeed still working.

Vibrant colors! Easy to wash off of hands and walls and puppies tables and clothing and little sisters (i don’t know how or why but some days my littlest one is quite colorful!). I love how bright the colors of these are. And especially that, even though my daughter has used nonstop both the pink and purple markers, they are still going strong. Bright as ever! I also really like how the tips aren’t super fat but kind of pointy. Great for my younger daughter when she wants to trace or stencil something with these.

These Magic Stix have really been a hot item in our house since they arrived. Usually they start to lose some of that color after a couple uses. Especially when everything is made to be that one color but not these. Much like that energizer bunny, they are still going! There were 24 in the set we received; if you don’t need that many you can also purchase a 12 pack. And they come in a very durable and handy plastic case. We always know where these are. I love that!

We absolutely love this company and the many products they offer. There are just so many amazing things available to help in learning and creating. We have used their pencil grips to help my younger children especially, with handwriting and we have used and continue to use their Magic Stix in our home for quite some time now. Especially for times when we are on the go, or spending a long time in a car visiting family or heading to a hockey game or Bible Quiz tournament out of town, these are so great to have! Creativity is such an important thing to me; not having to force my kids to choose something that isn’t on a screen is even better. And when we have these strewn about the house it is guaranteed that there will be lots of creative juice flowing!

They offer such an amazing range of products; simple as they may seem. Every one of their products is not only affordable but also so very durable.

Which is a big bonus when you have a bunch of kids like mine !

Magic Stix Washable Markers {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}






Five Minutes – Regrets?

While I was out the other day I met an older lady. She stopped me to ask where I went to church. I happily gave her the name and location of the church that are family attends and then went on my way.

Throughout the day I just have this uneasy feeling. That feeling of I could have said more. But reminder that I ought to have slowed down for just a bit to get to know this older lady.

I think back to another time when a fellow homeschool mama had inquired as to why my daughters and I are always in skirts or dresses. And why we have such crazy long hair. I wish I could say I gave an answer that show the glory of God but I think I said something about it being simpler way.

I Ponder these opportunities that have come my way and I wonder why I didn’t slow down? Perhaps all that I said was enough but what if it wasn’t?

There’s so many times when I look back and I regret how quickly I insisted on moving. I had to get somewhere or I had to finish something.

I read the other day how vital it is for us to view interruptions in our life as opportunities sent from the Lord.

I do not want to continue to regret these opportunities that God sends my way and I rushed through.

I do not want to regret words that should have been spoken or should not have been spoken. I want to be always ready with an answer when people ask why.

There was a sermon I was listening to the other day where the preacher spoke about what it will be like one day standing before the Lord. Where we stand before him and regret all those things he sent for us to do that we did not?

Let us joyfully and eagerly slow down and rest in the Lord as we go about the work that he has for us each day.