C is for Christmas

C is for Christmas

Yes, I know Christmas is still 2 months away, but I love the season. We have several Christmas movies that we seem to only watch around November and December. Once in a while, we will pull out Home Alone in the summer or watch The Santa Clause in July. Yes, we have several Christmas movies and I love to watch them several times over the holidays.

My favorite one is The Polar Express. I can watch this several times and still love it. Some others we own are all of the Home Alone, all of The Santa Clause, It’s a Wonderful Life, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, and the people version of The Grinch. We did have the cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but it got broken and we haven’t replaced it yet. My favorite movie about Jesus’ birth is The Nativity Story. My kids like to watch the Home Alone movies and the Veggie Tales Christmas movies.

I also love when radio stations start playing Christmas music. I listen to a local station that plays only Christmas music of any genre from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas and KLove during the Christmas season. My favorite Christmas carol is O Come All Ye Faithful. I don’t really have a favorite Christmas song, but love to listen to them all.

Christmas books…I don’t really have a favorite, but obviously love books that tell about the birth of Jesus. One that I reviewed (If He Had Not Come) a few years ago is still read each Christmas.

So, I look forward to a new month beginning and starting to pull out the Christmas movie, books, and music.

I am linking up at:

Hopkins Homeschool



Weave Your Word in Me from Kid Niche Christian Books ~ Review

We were given the opportunity to review a devotional series from Kid Niche Christian Books. Weave Your Word in Me – Part 1 is a 36 lesson devotional for tweens.

Kid Niche Christian Books Review

About the devotional:

Weave Your Word in Me is a Bible study based on The Lord’s Prayer. The devotional is compatible with six different Bible translations which include King James Version, English Standard Version, New King James Version, New International Version, New American Standard Bible, and New American Bible Revised Edition. Your child only needs a Bible, a pencil, the dictionary, and the devotional book each day.  There is an answer key in the back that gives answers for the versions listed.

prayerWeave Your Word in Me is also a prayer guide. It is designed around the nine verses of “My Whole Self Before You” which is a rhythmical prayer modeled after The Lord’s Prayer. Each lesson includes a space to fill in the missing words based on what you have learned.

The website also has enrichment activities that includes different things like coloring pages, videos, and projects.

Weave Your Word in Me – Part 1 is a 72 page, full color, and comes hole punched ready for you to place into your own binder. It is available for $20. Part 2 is also available for $20 and contains 44 lessons.

How we used this devotional:

My daughter just turned 12 last week and is in 7th grade this year. I went over how this devotional works by reading the first few introductory pages with her. I told her she could go through this as fast or as slow as she wanted. I told her she needed to use the devotional at least three times a week, but it would be better to use it everyday if she wants to draw closer to God. She used it five days a week as part of her school lessons.

She would begin by reading through the scripture (we use KJV). She would IMG_20171024_160651then read through the devotional and fill in the blanks and answer the questions.

I would ask her what she was learning and she (who is usually not talkative) would start telling me everything she had learned that day. She is excited to be able to get her own devotional since her older brothers had their own Bible study with their Life Group at church. Yes, she had been reading through her Bible before this devotional, but I had never found anything that I thought was a good fit or her.

What we thought:

Even though the suggested ages are for 4th-6th grades, my daughter enjoyed using this devotional. She liked having the blanks to fill in to answer the questions. She also liked the prayer at the end of each lesson. She has really learned so much more about the Bible and is looking forward to the rest of the lessons. I liked how this devotional is laid out and encourages the child to study God’s Word and learn from it. It is a great book to use as a first devotional to encourage them to remember what they are studying by writing down what they learned about while reading the passages.

Be sure to check them out on social media:




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B is for Books

B is for Books

Well, I love books! And since I homeschool, that means I have a lot of books that I have collected over the years from different places.

I have everything from children’s book to chapter books to high school classics. I also have paper books, hard back books, and books on a Kindle.

Some of my favorite children’s books are ones that I read when I was a Little Critterchild. I’ve introduced my children to the Little Critter books, which is one of my favorites from when I was a child. Some other favorite children’s books are Berenstain Bears, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and any of the Dr. Seuss books.

Some chapter books that my children have read over the last few years are Charlotte’s Web, Anne of Green Gables, Huckleberry Finn, and several others.

One of my favorite authors, who lives 30 minutes from me, is Nicholas HeartlandSparks. I have read almost all of his books and even won a whole set of his books a couple of years ago.  Right now, I am reading through the Heartland series and my 12 year old daughter will probably be reading them after I do. She loves everything about horses. She borrows  e-books about horses and always wants to buy horse books at the library sale.

I’ve also shared some new favorites over the past several weeks and we can’t wait for more of the new books in the series to come out. If you want to find out about some of our other favorites you can click here and read through some posts.

I’m linking up with:
Hopkins Homeschool


The Pencil Grip ~ Review

We were sent The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training System from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

The ultra safe safety scissors are geared for young children that are just learning how to cut. The scissors have a protective plastic shield that prevents children from cutting anything other than paper.  While the edges of the scissors are rounded, the blades are sharp inside of the protective area. The scissors do come with a lever that acts as a spring load to open on their own which helps young children learn how to control the scissors.

The scissors seem to be good for cutting straight lines and do not work well if you need to cut something more detailed out. It is difficult to maneuver the scissors when not going in a straight line. My youngest daughter and I tried them out and we both could use them easily.

The 3 step pencil grip training system involves the use of three of their grips.

The first grip is a crossover grip which helps the child to put their fingers in the correct position and keeps fingers from crossing over.


The second grip is the pinch grip. This grip  is used as a guide for proper positioning.


The third grip is the original grip. This grip helps to prevent bad habits from forming during writing.


My teen son tried out the different kinds of grips and liked the original one the best. All of these grips can be used by either right or left handed children or adults.

Be sure to follow The Pencil Grip, Inc. on social media:

Ultra Safe Safety Scissors & Pencil Grip Training Kit {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}


31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Grow

31 Days of Free Writes - Grow

It makes me sad when I see my children grow. I know I shouldn’t be sad, but it seems like they have grown so fast. I have spent time with them over the past years as they grow and I have made sure they know how to do things, but it still saddens me to know that I only have a couple of years left until the oldest will go off to college.

We as Christians should grow everyday. From the moment we ask Jesus to come into our life and save us, we should be reading our Bible and praying. We are to grow our knowledge of the Bible. If we don’t grow as Christians, I am sure that makes Jesus sad. He wants us to grow closer to Him every day.


31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Read

I love to read. Since having kids, I've not been able to read as much. I do try to find some time to read a fiction book that I have not read out of my collection from past library sales. Some of my favorite authors are Nicholas Sparks, Karen Kingsbury, and Janette Oke.

The most important book I have ever read is my Bible. I have the Homeschool Mom's Bible that I use to read an encouraging devotion each day. But there are some days that go by that I have not read my Bible. It seems like on those days that I have a more difficult time. I need to remember the most important book to read each day is God's Word. It helps to keep me focused and in a better mood.


31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Remain

31 Days of Free Writes - Remain

I’m having a difficult time coming up with  something to write today. I keep coming back to this verse though.

I Thessalonians 4:17 ~ Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Those that remain – meaning those on Earth at the time Jesus decides to come back and call those that believe in Him home.


31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Try

31 Days of Free Writes  -Try

I’m sure we have all heard the phrase “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” What does that mean to you. Do you give up easily when things get rough. I know I sometimes give up easily. If I don’t succeed, why do I need to try it again? I’m sure I will fail again and again, no matter how many times I try. The only way for me to succeed is to put my trust in Jesus. If I remember that I have Jesus by my side, I can push through my failures and keep trying until I do get it right. Because with God all things are possible. There is no failure in Jesus’ eyes. We are not failures to Him. We must keep trying until we succeed.


Five Minute Friday ~ Invite

Five Minute Friday - Invite

Today the five minute Friday prompt is Invite. It is also day 13 of the 31 free writes of October.

I recently came across a poem by Lois Blanchard Eades titled If Jesus Came to Your House. This poem is about Jesus making a surprise visit to your house, but what if you invited Jesus to your house. What would you have to do to get your house ready? Would you have to put some things in hiding? Would you have to get out your Bible to make it look like you’ve been reading it? If you were to invite Jesus over, what would you wear? Would you have to buy new clothes to have something appropriate to wear in front of Him? What about your language? Would you have to practice to not take His name in vain? If you invite Jesus over for the day, I hope that you could do it without having to hide things or replace things.


A is for Apple Blueberry Pie

A is for Apple Blueberry Pie

I am joining in for another round of blogging through the alphabet. I don’t have a theme this time. I am just going to write about what comes to mind for that letter.

To start I have a recipe that I have wanted to share. It is my grandmother’s. It may seem strange to put these two fruits together, but it tastes great. My grandmother use to make her own crust, but I have not mastered the crust making yet, so I buy store bought refrigerated pie crust. Below is the recipe. Let me know if you try it.

Apple Blueberry Pie (click for printable recipe)
  • 3 cups sliced apples
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 9-inch pie crusts (pre-made or homemade)
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • In a bowl combine the apples, blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Place one pie crust in the bottom of a deep dish pie pan.
  • Pour the apple-blueberry mixture into the pie pan.
  • Dot the top with butter.
  • Cover with other pie crust, sealing the edges.
  • Cut steam holes on top and place on baking sheet (in case of spills).
  • Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes.
  • Stick toothpick in middle to be sure apples are tender.
  • Let cool before serving.
  • Serve with ice cream if desired.

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Write

31 Days of Free Writes - Write

Write…I like to write. Sometimes I come up with some great material and other times I do not. I started to write a story a few years back, but lost it when my hard drive crashed and I wasn’t able to save it. I’ve been wanting to get back to that story, but can’t remember all of the details I had and wish I could just write it down, but I can’t get it started.

I know we are supposed to only take 5 minutes to write these posts with what comes to our mind at the time, but every day I write something and think how it is not that great, so I delete and start over. I wish I had more confidence in my writing and I wish I had better thoughts that were encouraging to others. I know sometimes I do have a good post, but mainly I feel like they are not that great. I do hope I have encouraged at least one person with my writing.


31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Remember

31 Days of Free Writes - Remember

We do not remember days, we remember moments.” ~ Cesare Pavese

This is so true. How many times have you recalled a memory, but didn’t recall the date of that memory? We will always remember the moments we have shared with others even if we don’t remember the date. The moments and memories that we share with others are what is most important.

We may not remember the day we graduated high school, but we remember the moment. We may not remember what all transpired on the day our children were born, but we remember the moment.

Take time today to live in the moment. Remember these special moments with your family and friends for it is these moments that you will remember for a lifetime.


Brinkman Adventures Season 4 Review

 Brinkman Adventures Season 4 Review

Imagine you are in a house singing songs to Jesus and being read stories from the Bible when all of a sudden the police enter the home and accuse you of holding a church in your house. But it’s not a church, you are just reading the Bible to your family and some friends. The police don’t care. They won’t listen and you are arrested. Brinkman Adventures has twelve new stories to share from Brinkman Adventures Season 4.

The above story is based on a true story that happened in Russia. In fact, all of the stories found on the Season 4 CD’s are based on true missionary stories. I was able to review the physical product for this audio drama, but they are also available as a download. There are four CD’s that contain over five hours of listening entertainment. Each story is about 30 minutes long.

Travel around the world looking at maps as you listen to the missionaries tell their stories. They are not just a narration of a story, but a re-enactment of the story. We hear the cars in the streets, the roar of the boat engine, people talking in the background. Hear the heartache and joy from the people as you listen to the stories.

The twelve stories included in season 4 are as follows:
  1. A Paradise Lost
  2. Remember Nhu
  3. Aisha’s Fear
  4. Heart Song
  5. The Crashed Kitchen
  6. Crisis in the Congo
  7. The Mysterious Palm Feller
  8. War of the Raccoons
  9. The Five Guys
  10. Toughest Man
  11. Cambodian Quest
  12. What Brings Us Together
These stories can be used in many ways during your homeschool day.
  • Geography ~ print out a map of the world and map the location of the story
  • History ~ since the stories take place in the past, you can discuss how the story might differ from then to now
  • Bible ~ the stories are missionary stories and the Bible tells us we should go into all the world. You could take the time to pray for a missionary or even write to one.
We listened to each story and discussed the story. We talked about where it took place and if they would want to visit the same area. We talked about how they think they would respond to the different scenarios in each story.  We discussed how we thought it felt to be there at that time. We learned so much by listening to these missionary stories and look forward to hearing more. We will continue to pray for the missionaries around the world.

IMG_20171010_175740It is difficult to pick a favorite since they are all well done, but I would have to say that the story about Nhu was one of my favorites. We also liked the one about the crisis in the Congo.

Parents do need to take caution on some of the stories, especially if you have a young or sensitive child. My youngest is six and listened to all of the stories. If she had a question, I would try to answer the best I could about the situation.

You can also find the real stories on the website and read about them ahead of time. Get your copy of Brinkman Adventures Season 4 today!

Brinkman Adventures Season 4

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Listen

31 Days of Free Writes Listen

Proverbs 1:5 ~A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

A wise man will hear…a person who wants to learn will listen to what is being taught.

And will increase learning…as they listen, they become more knowledgeable.

A man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels…once that man has listened and gained knowledge, he is then to go out an tell others what he has learned.

Will you become wise by listening?


CTCMath ~ Review

CTCMath Review

I reviewed CTCMath a few years ago and used it with my daughter for several years for an elementary math. When it came up for review this time, I wanted to review it myself to see how the high school subjects worked. I also thought it would help me to help my son who is taking Algebra II right now. This time I am reviewing CTCMath’s Single Membership for myself and homeschoolers get 60%off + 6 bonus months.

CTCMath is an Australian based company that offers an online, video based math curriculum. It is self-paced so your child can go as fast or as slow as they want to go. The curriculum from kindergarten through 12th grade is a full curriculum. There are diagnostic tests that can be taken before or after to find out where your child needs more help.

Each lesson consists of a short video that goes over the concept taught for that lesson.After watching the video, the student completes an online worksheet and answers the questions. The program keeps track of the right and wrong answers and gives the student a grade at the end of the lesson. If the student doesn’t pass the lesson they are able to go back and redo the lesson until they understand it enough to pass.

CTCMath Sample

Some of the high school level work is not completed online and needs the worksheet to be printed or use a pencil and paper and copy the problems down. On some of the lessons, at the high school level, the student completes the worksheet, grades using the answer key, and enters their own grade.

The parent dashboard shows what tasks you have given to the student and if they have completed them. It also shows the activity of the student, awards given to the student, and weekly reports about what the lessons the student finished during the week. Also from the parent dashboard, you are able to download checklists for the different levels to keep track of when the lesson was completed and what grade the student received, export the data from your student, and browse the lessons where you can see the video, questions, worksheet, and answers. When browsing the lessons it also gives a direct url to that lesson.

When you sign up, either the single membership or the family membership, you are given access to all levels of the program.

I am not that great at math. I started out going through the Algebra II and was having a difficult time. So, I went back to the Algebra I for a while and went through a few of the lessons and did great (go me!). I do really like this curriculum. This program is a great tool for anyone that wants to learn or re-learn math. I did also look over some of the elementary math and found that it was engaging and would be a great curriculum to use if you are looking for a math program that is online. My younger son is actually wanting to re-take Algebra I because he said he does not understand it at all from what he learned last year with a different curriculum. I think I am going to let him go through the Algebra I course and see how he does and hope he learns something.

CTCMath offers a free trial where you can view the first lesson for each topic. And don't forget that until November 15, 2017, homeschoolers receive a 60% discount + 6 bonus months.

CTCMath Online Math Tutoring {Reviews}

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Plan

31 Days of Free Writes - Plan

*This post contains affiliate links*

Plan…I plan a lot of things. But one of the best things that I like to plan is our meals for the week. I have in the past posted on Mondays our meal plans for the week, but have not posted that in a while. Having a plan helps me a lot during the day when I know what I am going to make that night.

I have reviewed MyFreezEasy which is a helpful tool in planning freezer meals. Next week, MyFreezEasy is doing a make one, freeze one challenge. Anyone is able to join in and choose from 1 of 3 freezer meal plans to download. This gives you a chance to see how freezer meals works MyFreezEasy.

The details:

  • Sign up for the challenge at this link
  • Mark your calendar for October 16-20
  • Buy your ingredients for your chosen plan
  • Keep an eye on your email for more information about the challenge

It is so simple to have a plan for meals each month.

God’s Great Love For You ~ Book Review

God's Great Love For You - Book Review

God’s Great Love For You is a children’s book that was written by bestselling author and pastor, Rick Warren.

This is a beautiful yet simple story that reminds us that God loves us “on good days and bad days.” His love is with us everywhere and it will never end. Although this simple story was written for young children, I think older children adults need to also be reminded of God’s love for them. The illustrations in the book are wonderful and help tell the story beautifully.

Book Sample

Our family has enjoyed reading through this story and remembering that God’s love is always there for us. And though it has few words, the pictures bring the story to life. This is a great book that I think all ages will enjoy, but especially young children.

I am able to give away one copy to my readers in the Continental USA. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Truth

31 Days of Free Writes - Truth

Have you ever played the game two truths and one lie? It’s a game played at a party where you tell the group two truths about you and one lie. I’ve played it maybe once or twice. So, here goes. I’m going to post two truths and one lie about myself.
  1. I have broken bones in both arms and both legs
  2. I grew up in Connecticut.
  3. I had a tumor removed from my ear when I was 7.
I’ll tell you the lie at the end. It is easy to tell lies, especially to those around us who don’t know us very well. Even our kids lie to us at times. Why do we not always tell the truth? If you have ever testified, you swear to tell the truth. The jury has to decide if you told the truth or lied to them.
Even the media tells lies daily. They leave out part of the truth to get people riled up. Why can’t people just want to tell the truth? Why are there so many lies? It’s because sin entered the world and when that occurred lies started being told. 

I remember listening to Patch the Pirate while was growing up and there was a song about telling the truth. One little lie can grow to a big lie, so make sure to always tell the truth.

My lie from up above is number 1. I have never broken any bones in my body.


31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Hold

31 Days of Free Writes - Hold

I remember back to the day when my first child was born and placed in my arms. How I longed to hold a child after suffering a miscarriage. I held onto him for a long time. He is now 15 years old and over six feet tall. I can’t hold him anymore since he is a lot bigger than me. How I long to go back 15 years and hold that sweet little baby and wish time would stand still for a while.

My other children are 14, almost 12, and 6. None of them like for me to hold them either, but I sometimes will pick up the six year old and just sit and hold her for a few minutes. She may not like it much, but one day she will be where I am and understand how a mom just wants to keep a hold on their children.

Time passes so fast and children grow up and move on. Savor the moments you have with your children and hold on tight to them.


31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes ~ Story

31 Days of Freww Writes - Story

Today is day 6 of the 31 days of five minute free writes and it is also the prompt for five minute Friday at the blog.

Story…Here is one of my stories of my life.

On this day, October 6, in the year 2000, I lost my first baby. I was 13 weeks pregnant and the day before we found out there was no heartbeat. We decided it was best for me to try to naturally miscarry before attempting a D&C. That was the hardest thing I had ever been through in my life at that point. I did end up miscarrying naturally in the early morning hours of October 6, 2000. After it happened, there were many “helpful” people who tried to comfort me. There was no comforting when they said, “It’s for the best",” “You can have another.” How do they know it was for the best? How did they know I would have another? The one thing I have found comfort in after all these years is knowing that my child is waiting for me in Heaven and one day I will get to see them. We refer to the child as Angel since we do not know if it was a boy or a girl. I still think about my child a lot still even though it has been 17 years. I don’t think that would be something I could ever forget. God has been and will be my comforter. I’ve learned through my experience how to help others through a loss of a child through miscarriage.

My favorite verse that I have had since I was a teenager was also a big help to me during my time of grief: Isaiah 41:10 ~ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Weekly Highlights ~ 10/6/17

Homeschool Week

Well, we finished our 1st quarter this week and my boys have A’s in all of their subjects. I don’t grade the girl’s work yet. My 7th grade daughter took a midterm reading test over the book Anne of Green Gables and only missed one question. We are using Memoria Press for that and she likes it.

I had my 1st grader do a candy corn craft this week and she loved it. It is simple and easy. I need to find more crafts/art projects for her because she loves it and it keeps her from being bored.


This is also how the 1st grader wants to do her work (I let her as long as she is getting her work done):


My son’s birthday was back in July and he had told me he didn’t want any presents but he wanted to wait and receive Fifa  18 when it came out for PS4. Well, it came out this week and now he is so excited to have his present. I had to sneak a picture of my two boys playing the game.


Also, this week, I wanted to make cheddar biscuits like Red Lobster but wanted to make them from scratch. I found this recipe and they came out great. We all loved them.


Coming up on the blog next week starts a new blogging through the alphabet. I haven’t really thought much about what topic I want to write about, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something. I was thinking of featuring a different recipe each week, but I’m not sure I can get it done. I’ll have to think some more about it before I commit to it.

Also this month, I decided to participate in the Write 31 project with using the prompts over at the Five Minute Friday blog. You can see my posts by clicking here.

Next week, I'll be having a giveaway for a children's book. I also have two review posts coming up next week.

I'm linking up at:

Homeschool Coffee Break

Weekly Wrap-Up



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