Loving the Moment! 

Its a new year! So many things to be excited for right?  I am especially excited to be a part of this. The Virtual Curriculum Fair. Whether you are new to homeschool or have a couple years under your belt this is truly a wonderful treat.  A homeschool convention….but you can stay in your jammies. Hehe

The one thing I love most about home education is also the one thing that I struggle with the most when it comes to home education. Can I hear an amen?

I love how free we can be. Here in Wisconsin there are very little requirements so we really do have so much freedom when it comes to learning at home with our children.
The challenge comes in not allowing ourselves to become overwhelmed or controlled. by all the good stuff that’s out there!


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Our first year or two as home educators we stuck to a very strict schedule. We got our curriculum in the mail every year (Love My Father’s World).  And while it was a wonderful program and I still use some of their materials to this day, at the same time it was stressful trying to keep up some days. Especially as I went from having one child to two and then three and then four!



As the years have gone by we have gone from box curriculum to classical schooling, Charlotte Mason style, unschooling and delight led learning. All of these are wonderful ways to encourage and inspire a love of learning in our children. And as each one of my for gets older and their needs change it is good to have so many different options out there. Again that is one of my favorite things about home education!



As we have grown and progressed Through the Years I have learned and I’m still learning how to use those materials we do invest in without thumb controlling our learning.  I have learned to slow down and worry less. It truly has been an exercise in my faith.  Most importantly I have learned to teach from a state of rest.




In the last few days I have pondered and prayed over what are home education ought to look like in the coming year. And if I have prayed again and again God has placed in my mind the value of rest and the value of mastery.  So this year as we slow down I’m focusing on living and loving and learning together as a family. I am focusing on stronger relationships and building greater character within my children ( and myself too)!




We will still do math drills and we will still do copywork each day.  We will study together and memorize from the Bible the Book of Acts.  We will read together draw and paint.  My girls and I will spend more time baking and learning to sew.  My boys will spend more time on coding. We will draw our way around the world.  We will do all kinds of crazy experiments and handicrafts.  We will write poetry and make music and go for a walk exploring God’s creation.




We will not be bound by a schedule or curriculum. Instead of worrying about staying on track instead we will learn together in a state of rest. We will not be afraid to take a day off to go to the museum or to explore a local park.  We will strive to have more conversation about what we are learning together.





For my oldest son I seek to become more of a mentor and less of a teacher. To inspire him instead of require of him.  In an attempt to encourage him to learn a bit more independently and to become a bit more responsible for his time we are setting goals. We are making a roadmap. In this way see how making his own video game or his own app really is possible by breaking it down into simple steps.




There’s so much for our kids to learn and aren’t kids naturally curious and eager to learn?  I think of the many things that I have learned simply by having the time to explore them on my own.  And I know that this is something that my children can getting a great deal from. Therefore in the year to come they shall have more time to really explore their own interests. And who knows what could happen when they are given time to find those fires within!





It has always been my goal to inspire my children to see learning as something that is life-long. And for them to see the great value and the opportunities that surround them everyday.  Because learning isn’t something that only happens for 12 years and it isn’t something that we can just fit in the hours of 9 and noon.  Learning is a blessing and a joy. It is a lifelong pursuit.. ❤




As you begin your New Year going home education be sure to take your time and enjoy the journey!





An InLinkz Link-up


FlipStir Puzzle Fun ~ Schoolhouse Review

Shake. Stir. That’s all you hear my kids saying while they try to figure out how to complete this latest review product. My younger son is always trying to figure things out so puzzles are one of his favorite things. My oldest is very creative and while he enjoys puzzles; they don’t take him long. And us girls? We do enjoy a good challenge. And watching our boys attempt to solve various puzzles together. So I was definitely interested when I learned of this new and exciting puzzle – great for home or out and about – no worrying about lost pieces or anything like that. Since the boys love puzzles too, we didn’t have to be asked twice to try theTyrannosaurus Rex FlipStir Puzzle from Enlivenze LLC.






FlipStir Puzzles Reviews  

Flipstir Puzzles are something quite unique.  Its a 3D puzzle, inside of a clear cylinder.  At the top of the cylinder there is a metal “stirrer” that you use to move the pieces about on the inside, as you try to get them in the right order.  And while this sounds easy, it really isn’t! ha-ha


There are a couple different levels to choose from: Level 1 and Level 2.  The Tyrannosaurus Rex that we received for this review is a Level 1 puzzle.  Two other Level 1 puzzles available are the Solar System and Rainbow Pencils.  Level 2 puzzles available are the Statue of Liberty and the Periodic Table.  Don’t those sound fun?





Since I am big on limiting screen time and really like to encourage my kids to choose games and puzzles, this sort of thing is right up our alley. I always enjoyed doing puzzles with my grandmother when I was a kid; I remember them often having one laid out on the table when I would be visiting with my parents. It was addictive! And it was so fun; a way to exercise the mind, while also being able to engage with others in conversation. What a fabulous exercise in critical thinking and problem solving skills too.




No doubt this is mind boggling! Lots of fun too! No lost or damaged pieces either (and with a small one in the house that is a huge bonus). While my little ones — almost 18 months and 4 years old — really were to young for this, my youngest loved shaking this. Ah the noise it made. What joy it brought to her! My four year old daughter loved rolling it about but definitely is a bit too young for this kind of thing. So it was mostly my boys who are 6 and 10; I dabbled with it a bit as well I admit.



I have to admit, we have not yet been able to get this puzzle in the correct order. It’s definitely a challenge; not for those who are easily frustrated! Regardless, this is one of those things that I know, you could do again and again. Never getting bored. Every time we have shaken this up, tipped and tilted it this way or that, it has been an all new experience in trying to get things into the right order. And while we have not to date been able to successfully complete this, we are not done trying.



We really are enjoying the FlipStir puzzle.  My boys have already picked out the next ones they want to get, and I can definitely see it being worth it to get every one of these puzzles.  As we are out and about more (and have a big road trip coming up in the winter) I can see these really helping to keep everyone engaged and focused (no fighting in the car please!) while we travel down south for a little vacation. These are fabulous! What a great idea ~ An excellent example too of what it means to be creative and innovative.  Not just fun but inspiring for our creative kids; what will they think of next?



FlipStir Puzzles Reviews

FlipStir Puzzles
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“I Love You Just Because” Review

I Love You Just Because
by Donna Keith is a book about a family of bears; all very different yet all together in one place, for God’s purpose.

“Three very different bear cubs live together in one place,

Each chosen for these parents by God of love and grace.

And when the cubs ask why they’re loved, their parents often say,

‘We love you just because you are God’s gifts for whom we prayed.’”


This is such a wonderful lesson for all of us when we feel we just don’t belong or perhaps we cannot understand why we are where we are. Our family is such a blessing; God knits us together. How priceless, for our kids to know, that God chose them. To be my son and daughter. God chose them to be the brother and the sister. He chose their momma and their daddy. All things are by His design and for His purpose.


This book is full of sweet, gentle illustrations by Alison Edgson and rhyming text, “I Love You Just Because” will help little ones understand their parents’ love for them and God’s too.  That love isn’t something to be earned but that which is given. It is simple and unconditional. A true gift. With the same friendly bear family from Donna Keith’s first two books — “I Love You All the Same” and “I Love You Even When” — the sweet story of this book will remind you that family members love each other … just because. No matter how different we may be; no matter the struggles we may face, we all love one another. Always.


This 20-page board book is for children 4 to 8 years old and was published by Thomas Nelson on June 7, 2016.



Learn more about this book and others on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Learn more about Donna Keith on Facebook.

Don’t Miss the Wonderfully Made Giveaway

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:14) 

My kids love babies!  And they were so excited that we had the chance to review this book! You may recall last fall when we wrote about “When Lightning Struck: The Story of Martin Luther”; perhaps you know of and love, the Bible curriculum she designed for grades K-12, Bible Road Trip.  Wonderfully Made, is Danika’s latest and quite lovely, work. Written for ages 5-11, this is a beautiful way for our kids to journey through design and see that truly God has made them. From conception through birth this is very tastefully done, and full of the scriptures that confirm what a blessing children are! How amazing this is to be able to see and read about each stage of this beautiful gift called life. Since reading this, my children have such a new appreciation for one another and life itself; they are also all praying for a couple more blessings in our family too! 🙂  This truly is a wonderful book to help share how we are knit together by the hand of God!





To celebrate the release of Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth by Danika Cooley, I am hosting a wonderful giveaway with the rest of the launch team. The giveaway includes a hardcover copy of the book, along with several other books and products your family is sure to enjoy. The total value of the giveaway is nearly $600!
Wonderfully Made Giveaway
Here is what you could win:

Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth by Danika Cooley – hardcover $9.99 value

Wonderfully made is an excellent book that introduces a young child to the wonder of God’s creation – the wonder and miracle of birth. From conception in the womb through the nine months within the mother’s womb Danika Cooley takes us on a journey of discovery… the discovery of life.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

Touch of Life First Trimester Fetal Models $89.95 value

Sculpted from real-life photos, these four fetal models representing weeks 7, 8, 9, and 10 after conception have a personality of their own, and the life-like feel of the skin brings home the humanity of the preborn baby in its first trimester of life. Accurately portrayed thanks to medical descriptions and photos, these little samples of life are a great educational tool for helping to understand the wonder of the early stages of human development.

Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum (includes Lower and Upper Grammar Notebooking Journals $60 value

The Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum is a 463-page digital PDF download of the full Bible Road Trip Year One curriculum for all five levels, preschool through high school. The Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum includes the Parent / Teacher Guide and 32 weeks of curriculum schedules for all grades.

$100 Amazon Gift Card $100 value

Enjoy shopping amazon.com with a gift of $100 + an adorable bookmark.

Big Bible Science: Experiment and Explore God’s World by Erin Lee Green (Ages 5-11) $12.99 value

Big Bible Science helps children and those who teach them to explore God’s World and God’s Word through real live science experiments. There are twenty-one different units taking students through scientific concepts such as Gravity, Friction, Animal Classification and the Nervous System.

My 1st Books and More by Carine MacKenzie and Philip Ross (ages 4-7) $15.99 value

Who is God? What does he do? Can I know Jesus? Why did he die? Children always have questions about God. They want to know what it means to be a Christian and who Jesus is. My 1st Books and More gives a year’s worth and more of bible readings, devotions and memory verses.

Living Water in the Desert: True Stories of God at Work in Iran by Rebecca Davis  $8.99 value

One man was overcome by the missionary’s kindness. Another was stopped by a vision of men in blue.  One became sick and tired of his own religion. Another saw a man named Jesus in a dream, coming to him on a donkey.  A girl found a strange book on the floor of the library and visited a secret prayer meeting. All of them eventually came to Jesus Christ for His full and free salvation, becoming missionaries to their own people. Seventeen chapters tell true stories of the Living Water pouring out on the country of Iran, even up to the present day.

Lights in a Dark Place: True Stories of God at Work in Colombia by Rebecca Davis (ages 7-12)  $8.99 value

Colombia has been known as a land of violence, but God is at work! Even though the Colombian people have reacted with violence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God has delivered people from burning houses . . . God has healed ones who cursed . . . God has given people dreams and visions . . . God has rescued kidnapers . . . God has conquered demons of darkness. Read fourteen true stories of the Light of the World shining in the land of Colombia, South America.

Jungle Doctor’s Monkey Tales by Paul White $8.99 value

The wisdom of monkeys is proverbially small. They never could remember not to get too near to the hind feet of zebra, nor to throw coconuts at Chewi the leopard, nor to look into the eyes of snakes. Luckily for his little nephews, Uncle Nyani, the only survivor of a family of seven, is always near at hand to tell them how they can live to be as old as he is!

Jungle Doctor’s Tug-of-War by Paul White (ages 5-11) $8.99 value

Even by monkey standards, young Toto is pretty dim! Those baddies of the jungle, Crunch the Crocodile, Mbisi the Hyena, Slinki the Jackal, Vibi the Vulture and Gnark the crow look as though they are going to have an easy time finishing him off. However, Toto soon finds himself in the middle of a tug-of-war, for his real friends, Elephant, Giraffe, Parrot and Hornbill are determined to rescue him from the clutches of the jungle underworld.

The Bible’s Big Story: Salvation History for Kids by James M. Hamilton Jr. $4.99

With easily remembered rhymes and Bible verses take your child through the span of Salvation History from Creation to the Fall, the Flood to the Exodus, the Exile to the Crucifixion and beyond… James M. Hamilton writes about real history, God’s Salvation History, and our future.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership $97

1000s of topical pages, themes, and designs . . . Perfect for any subject or study A to Z!
Art Study ♦ Copywork ♦ Character Study ♦ Famous Men & Women ♦ Geography (state/country studies, continental, world maps) ♦ History of the Ancient World, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, and Modern Times ♦ Music Study ♦ Nature Study ♦ Science ♦ Timelines ♦ and more!

Mom’s Toolbelt Lifetime Membership $24.95

A customizable home management planner for every area of your life that craves order.

Hal and Melanie Young: Mom & Dad Special: Raising Real Men (book + audiobook) plus a free registration to both Boot Camp 9-12 AND Boyhood Boot Camp. $101 value

If this is God’s chosen gift to us, then why does it seem so hard? How can we prepare these boys to serve God when we can barely make it through the day? Isn’t there a better way? The answer is yes.

When You Lie Down: Lullabies and Scripture Songs CD $12.97 value

These twelve songs remind us that true rest, comfort and hope come from God alone. This music is an awesome way to experience God’s Word with your baby, kids and family. You will discover that this album will be a powerful addition to use in your personal time with God.

Seeds Onesie- Psalm 139:13-14  $14.97 value

Seeds Family Worship Onesie featuring Psalm 139:13-14 on the front with a small Seeds logo on the back.

Cultivating Responsibility: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 9-12 by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN $14.99 value

The later elementary age years are among the greatest times to build responsibility in children. Heart transformation takes place when parents use other tools than behavior modification.

Elementary Foundations: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 5-8by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN $14.99 value

Many new things happen during the ages of 5-8. Children start school, develop significant friendships, learn to think abstractly instead of just concretely, and have a greater ability to draw close to God. Parenting during this stage produces a number of challenges and opportunities so you’ll want to be prepared.

To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, age 18 and older. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, April 20 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced at the Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party (winner does not have to be present to win, but we hope you’ll be there!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You’re Invited!

Join us for the Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party on Thursday, April 21. We’ll have even more giveaways and freebies, too! The party begins at 9pm EST, and you can RSVP on the event page
Please RSVP!

Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party, Thursday, April 21, 9pm EST

Pirates Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson


Pirates’s Code The Adventures of Mickey Matson:

In this follow up to Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure, Mickey Matson is at it again; this time pitted against the evil Admiral Ironsides and his gang of pirates who are intent on destroying civilization. They’re new invetnion, the Tesla Coil, is a weapon of mass destruction that will send an electromagnetic pulse throughout the world, destroying every electronic device in existence. With the help of a secret organization, Mickey and his best friend Sully embark on a mission to stop the pirates from taking over a submarine and stealing the last part needed to complete their devastating weapon. If Admiral Ironsides succeeds in his plan, civilization will be sent back to the Stone Age. It’s a race against time, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
Watch the trailer:




When we first learned we were going to be reviewing this one, I admit it, I went out and got the first movie (this is a sequel to that), Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure.  I was impressed with how clean this movie was; all three of my children really enjoyed it. So when Pirate’s Code arrived, they could hardly wait for the evening to come and settle in with some popcorn to watch!


When it comes to Mickey Matson, he really knows how to have an adventure! Since my boys love pirates right now too, this definitely kept them on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. My husband loved the fact that Christopher Lloyd (from Back to the Future) was in it, since he has never seen a movie he starred in that bored him.


I admit it didn’t hold my attention for long; to be fair I am a bookworm – I always prefer to read the book. My son’s though, who are 9 and 5, really enjoyed all of the action in this one and the next day were out fighting pirates and digging in our yard for buried treasure (mixed feelings about that here!)


It wasn’t a bad film though, not at all. Its good for some laughs and it has simple enough story for younger kids to follow along too. Sure, there’s some violence, but nothing awful. I think it gave my lil “pirates” ideas for some new moves. lol



If you have a pirate lover, or just an adventurer in general you can purchase a copy at: Pure Flix. 🙂

Give Them Grace ~ Chapters 5-6 {Book Discussion}

Okay, I am a bit behind in this 3 month discussion of  Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson in the Family Discipleship Facebook group. If you missed the discussion of the foreword, intro, and chapter one, you can find that here, and chapters two through four here. I’d love to hear your thoughts—here and on Facebook. Below is the schedule we’re following in the group.

We'll be discussing Give Them Grace May-July 2015. Here's the schedule!

In Chapter Five discipleship is broken down for us into five separate categories: Management, Nurturing, Correction, Training and Promises. I love charts myself; I need those visual reminders (I admit it) if I am going to stick with something! So the fact that they have charts in this book which direct us to the scriptures relating to a given incident s well as examples and references for each area of discipleship – Its so very helpful to me!  And there are questions too in case at times you struggle with which category of discipleship, exactly, you are dealing with in your circumstance.



Honestly, this is all so new to me, and yet so exciting for me! But I feel such a strong desire to follow this more and more in my home.  And the timing, some things really are of God, this I do believe is one of them. When I seek after, and ask Him to guide me, in a better way, for my children, He provides. All that I have read thus far, it reminds me of His love and training with each and every one of us.


One of my absolute favorite quotes thus far is:


Paul’s command to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” means this: that parents are to think about and remember Jesus Christ and then train their children to understand how everything in their life—their joys and sorrows, their trials and labors, their doubts, sin and shame—is to be understood in the light of Jesus Christ, who descended from David rather than from Levi, died, and rose from the dead. That is the best news any child could hear. Distinctly Christian parenting must be accomplished in the environment of the good news about Jesus Christ or it is not Christian parenting. It may work for a while, it may make your life manageable, and God may use it, but it is not “of the Lord.” (Give Them Grace, page 93-94)


Our children need to know and understand the Gospel for themselves. We need to bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of their journey, their experience, with the one true living God!


It reminds me of something I heard this morning that said: Worship involves all of our life… 

Worship is more than just a moment. Its more than this thing we do for a couple minutes before service or a few words uttered about how great and mighty God is. We worship Him in all that we do and say, every moment of our day.  We worship Him when, in difficult times, we seek Him and love Him.  We worship Him when someone wrongs us and we pray for them and love them anyway. We worship Him when we show our children the grace and mercy and love He pours out on us every day. Because we too are sinners. We too need to endure to the end to be saved.

This chapter is such a powerful reminder that love covers all sins. And that without love, we are nothing but noise….

Chapter Six is another very meaty and rich chapter. There were tough questions asked of us, such as: “Is this sin or weakness and immaturity?”  We need to realize how simple our teaching can really be.  It is broken down into four steps:

1) Teach your kids to respect authority

2) Teach them the gospel

3) Trust God to work in your children

4) Confess your own sins

These are very valuable, powerful methods. So simple I am a bit embarrassed I did not see these things before now. But I thank Jesus for this book which helps me to see these things today. Because today is a blessing ~ As is His wisdom and grace. ❤

“We are not telling you to ignore bad behavior; nor are we saying that sinful behavior should not be corrected. We are saying that we should teach our children that sinful behavior does not alter their relationship with us. If our parenting is modeled on the gospel, then their sin, hardness, and unbelief will grieve us, we will seek to discipline and correct it, we will pray for them about it, and we will continue to love and welcome them in spite of it. But we will not demand a show of repentance before we welcome them back into relationship.” (Give Them Grace, page 105)



Ouch! I don’t know about you but I admit I am guilty of focusing on rules more often than not. With a new baby and a to-do list a mile long…I tend to forget that there are more important things than having a perfectly tended yard or garden. I look past the sad or hurting child to what we have to do right now. *sigh*  This was such a revealing chapter for me. SO much truth that I needed to read. And as I read I was reminded again and again of how important God says it is for us to have that right relationship. With Him, with our husband, with our children. It matters so much more than we know. Our children need to know that no matter what, we still love them. They need to hear, in their times of trials, that they are loved. When we are struggling, we need them to see us, show love and repentance too.


I really appreciated this chapter’s constant emphasis on the need for gospel-motivated instruction and how it differs from so many other approaches out there that we use. We need to bring about heart change. It does not matter what we do, or how we do it, if ultimately we do not have a “first love”.  Our children need that relationship, just as desperately as we do, that they may know Him and love Him.  It starts with love.


New Family Discipleship Facebook Community



Leave a comment with your thoughts or feel free to join discussion at Family Discipleship Community!  It’s not too late 🙂

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

I love being outdoors but I am not an outdoors person. Does that make sense? Whenever we spend the day outside, I feel like its one more day wasted.  (Bad homeschool momma ~ that is some stinking thinking) Anyway, Apologia Educational Ministries has a great new resource for this very thing!  Introducing, the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal, and we were more than happy to have the opportunity to review it. 😀





For our review, we received spiral-bound workbook with a very nice plastic covering.     The pages are all full-color, and as I was perusing this initially, I really was inspired to scrapbook.  Thats what these pages remind me of, really!  The book, pages and all, is quite thick and sturdy which is great since most of what we do in this area is outside, of course. In the time since we have received this book, it has held up so very well – being shared by three children ranging from age 3 to age 9, this is a really big deal for us.





This book is divided into a couple different sections:


  • Preparing for a Field Trip–Very helpful hints on how to make the experience a powerful one for learning. These things can be pretty overwhelming right? This really helps break it down, making it simple and less stressful.
  • Ideas–There is a password to an online “extras” section on their website, where you can find lots of awesome maps, great ideas for creative journaling andlots more ideas for some great field trips.
  • Places I’ve explored–This page is just for listing places you’ve visited in your state, around the United States, and places you’ve explored around the world. There is a seperate page for each of these.
  • Field Trip Pages–These are good for recording inspiration, details of experiences, anything that they want to remember. We included some narration activities too; if there is reading to be done in relation to studies and places, why not jot down handy details here? There are even pages with charts for recording location, date, temperature, and rainfall.
  • My Special Spot–This is a wildlife spot study.  Here you can sketch, take field notes, paste photos here even. If you have a special spot draw it or post an image of it here.
  • Thoughts and Drawings as I See It–How do they see things? It is all so very different through their eyes.  Here they can really be inspired, they can share their thoughts and perceptions.  This is a great creative, doodling  page.


I really appreciated all of the charts included in this book for field trips, things that are  “Off the Beaten Path”  “from your own backyard to half way around to the world.”  This was very eye opening for me I have to admit.  I admit that sometimes we don’t see all that is in front of us and this really helped me to see things in another way. Ah the fun and exciting learning opportunities right in our backyard (not to mention down the street!).

We got lost for a time in all ideas that were provided from: plants and animals, earth, space, and the human body as well as some great ways to learn a bit more about social studies like government, and history and the culture of the area itself.  This even inspired some mapping and business/economics learning with my oldest son who is 9.


Unfortunately the weather here in Wisconsin has not been so nice as of late. But when the weather allows, we do try to spend out time outdoors whether in our own backyard or going for walks and bike rides in the area. We also have a microscope, which was a stelar reslae shop find, that my boys love to use.  So this encourages them to seek out things to view, and then draw what they see.  They are encouraged to keep their own nature journal in addition to this, where they can tape or glue leaves, pinecones, flower petals as they find them.


One of the neat things my oldest son chose to do was relive some of his old experiences such as a couple trips to Missouri, a very old camping trip in the Wisconsin Dells, visits to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Mackinaw Island. Some of this he was able to do with things he has kept through the years others, and some things we will have to get copies of for him to paste into his book (photographs mostly of family trips).  He is big on rock collecting, and seashells right now – for this I encouraged him to sketch these things on the pages within.


Once again, Apologia has brought an awesome an inspiring tool to us homeschoolers! The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal is a fun and simple way for kids to explore and learn.  It encourages children to be creative and curious, to get out of doors and see all the fun ways they can lern and grow.  Being in the process of developing a homeschool group for our church, its especially helpful, all the ideas and online materials that are provided for trips out and about.  I’m definitely looking forward to using this more through the summer as our family gets out and about more, visits with a lovely young lady from Spain and enjoys some trips with our homeschool friends!


What a blessing Apologia is!  ❤


Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review



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Give Them Grace ~ Chapters 2-4

As you know I have been reading Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson in the Family Discipleship Facebook group. If you missed the discussion of the foreword, intro, and chapter one, you can find that here. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you are reading along. If you care to join us this is the schedule we’re following in the group. Although as you can see I am a bit behind. No pressure though; join in as you can and where you can~

We'll be discussing Give Them Grace May-July 2015. Here's the schedule!
In Chapter Two, these ladies talk about How to Raise Good Kids.. this was so very revealing, and difficult, for me.  Fitzpatrick and Thompson discuss here the difference between goodness and righteousness. And what a huge difference there is.  But how many times are we tempted to tell our kids they are “good” or that they need to be “good”? How often do we shower them with praise? Yet if we are honest with them and ourselves, apart from Christ, there is no good thing to be found in any one of us. Romans 3:9-13 (KJV) says:

 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

And then in Mark 10:18 Jesus says:

” Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”


Jesus alone is good. Whatever we have, be it finances, home, family, peace, health or righteousness  – it comes from Christ alone. It is through Him alone that we have our salvation. If we praise our kids for being “good”, are we not then giving them a false sense of righteousness? —What can we do to encourage and inspire them to do well, without giving them the impression that it is them alone who can do “good”?

Every word we say to (our children) during the day will be shaped by our view of their ability to be good and how to get them there. Every responsible parent wants obedient children. But if we’re confused about their ability to be good, we’ll end up lying to them about their desperate lostness outside of Christ. We’ll tell them they are good and that they can obey God’s law. (Give Them Grace, page 47)

Certainly as I train up my children, I want them to see their need for a Savior.  I want them to know that we can not do any good thing without Him! The truth of the Gospel can be so powerful if we allow His Word to speak for itself. Let us not interpret it or water it down for our children. Let us trust that as He works in their lives they will gain an understanding and love of His Word.  The truth is what sets us free and it shall set them free as well if we trust in Him.

Planning for Meal Planning

Meal time is coming…..I am in a total panic….. All the time it seems !


I know that its a good, smart thing to do (meal planning) but honestly, does anyone else struggle with sticking with it?  Or even getting started for that matter?


So I have to remind myself when – with a new baby at home, planning a homeschool co-op for our church, homeschooling my own children, and home making and keeping tasks of mine own overwhelm me – the  benefits of meal planning.  This makes meal time run smoother, we eat much healthier, less stress on momma and I can really save some money at the grocery store (even though it doesn’t usually feel like I am).


It is said that it takes about 21 days to make a new habit stick. If that is true, I wonder if it won’t take more time for this to stick when we are planning a meal once a week or once a month.  Any experience with this yourself, do share!


I adit, I don’t like the actual part where I have to sit down and figure out what to eat.  That part of menu planning is no fun if you ask me, but it has to be done.  I like to enlist my kids; they think its actually lots of fun to look through all of the THM Pinterest Boards, and random cookbooks in the house, and pick things they would like to try.  My oldest son even has his own; Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls (I grew up with this one myself).





Since I have been wanting to try out Trim Healthy Mama (knowing so many ladies who love this!) I figured now was as good a time as any to get started. Even though I tend to prefer living life in a more relaxed, ‘creative’ way, and I avoid schedules as much as I can I also know that so many days, the hours fly by and I need to have SOME sort of plan so we aren’t eating junk,  So I am not all stressed out and in a panic.  And I can always swap one days recipe for another if I feel a need to mix things up a bit!




Cheese Omelet (THM p. 219)

Oopsie Roll Sandwiches (THM p. 268)

Taco Salad (THM p. 347)




Sweet Cinnamon Quinoa (THM p. 227)

Tuscany in a Bowl (THM p. 288)

Alfredo Beef & Broccoli (THM p. 340)




Basic Whey Smoothie (THM pg. 243)

Waldorf CottageCheese Salad (THM p. 300)

Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash Noodles (THM p. 356)




Old Fashioned Oats (THM p. 228)

Loaded Fotato Soup (THM p. 294

Coconut Crusted Chicken (THM p. 322) Spinach Casserole (THM p. 358)



Chocolate Decadence (THM p. 245)

Grilled Salmon & Salad (THM p. 284)

Pizza Casserole (THM p. 327)



Sprouted French Toast (THM p. 329)

Scrumptilicious Sammie Eggplant (THM p. 298)

Creamy Mushroom Pasta (THM p. 351)




Greek Pudding (THM p. 251)

Deli Meat Roll-Ups (THM p. 299)

Beef Burger Night

(THM p.339)




So what’s going on in your kitchen this week? Share your favorite recipes or tips for meal planning you have found helpful!


And if you care to, do come link up with us 🙂