Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Perspective




I took this photo on the campus of Grove City College in Grove City, PA. I was there to shoot a wedding one cloudy Saturday afternoon. I loved the architecture of the school, but this building stood out to me. It was different from the rest. The rest were your stereotypical red brick exterior, but this one was like a beacon set against the others. I wanted to capture this beautiful building, but just standing there taking a straight on photograph didn't work for me. It looked clinical and boring. That's where PERSPECTIVE comes in.



Life is all about perspective, and our perspective can change. We are influenced by a number of things-Our family, friends, strangers, events, even social media memes. How many Facebook friends do you have who base their assumptions on a Facebook share, or share headline grabbers without checking the validity of those shares? All of that shapes our perspective for, or against, something. 

Thinking about perspective, I had Mr. B do his language arts, today. I admit, we are a bit behind in Language Arts because he pretty much hates it. He doesn't like anything to do with it. He couldn't care less if a word is an adverb, direct object, or pronoun. He just doesn't like it. So instead of nagging, getting hateful, and pretty much forcing him to do it, I changed the perspective. I sat there like I was doing it, and like I had no idea what I was doing so he'd have to "help me" get the answers correct.

Changing his perspective from him doing it, to me doing it, caused him to think it was fun to correct me. AND it caused him to do a full week's worth of language arts! 

We can apply this same concept across our every day life. Look at things in a different way, think about the world in a different way, and approach problems in a new, and different way. Let me know how it works out for you! 



Wordless Wednesday


Friday, February 2, 2018

Loss of a friend....

Loss is never easy, and it's even harder when it is a partner. A dear friend of mine lost her husband last night. He was her first, and only boyfriend. They spent 25 years together, building a loving family, and suddenly-with no warning at all-he's now gone. I can't even begin to imagine the heartache she's feeling. Please keep them in your prayers.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tough health decisions

As a parent, it's hard to always be the one making all the decisions. At least it is for me. Right now, Mr. B is scheduled to see a pulmonary doctor in a couple of days. We just got back from a week at The Cleveland Clinic, and neither of us really feel up to another overnight medical trip, nor does my account at the moment. With the flu at epidemic levels, I also don't want to take him out. Yet, he still coughs more than he should. It's not out of control like it was, and the meds he received at CC haven't had time to start working yet, either. So I'm relunctant to make the trip, and would rather reschedule. But there's always that nagging thought of: you should go anyway. CC doctors said it was my choice, either way would be good. Sigh...I need an easy button.

Wordless Wednesday




Friday, January 26, 2018

Curriculum Choices

Choosing a curriculum can be such a hard decision to make. Should I go with a boxed set? Should I try to wing it? GAH! What do you do?! For this next year, I'm finding the need to change things up for a multitude of reasons. I plan to still stick with a mix and match approach because that's just what works best for our family.

Mr. B is having some learning difficulties in math. He has poor organization and poor planning, so I'm looking for a math skills class for that. Language Arts is already settled, and we're sticking with a CM approach, as well as science. I LOVE MASTERBOOKS! That's one of my favorite companies, and that mixed with apologia will cover science for us. History is a combo of Veritas Press and Masterbooks-so classical plus CM. Reading is set to be more traditional, but online. See? That's the beauty of mix and match. I'm not bound to one method!

What are you planning this year?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

SNOW

Whew! Last weekend we were expecting 6-8" of the fluffy white stuff, and only 1-3" today. I laughed and said lookout, today we'd get slammed. Well guess what....we have close to 6" out there folks! Roads are terrible, SO STAY WARM and STAY SAFE!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday, December 22, 2017

Books for Christmas: A list of what is on our gift list.


I just love getting books for Christmas, and I equally love gifting books as well. To me, there's no greater gift than the gift of reading. A book can take you on many a great journey, so it's always the ideal gift! 

Here are a few books on our gift list this year. 




The Illuminated Bible is simple GORGEOUS! This would be a great solo gift, or the perfect gift to share with a family.


Adored 365 is a year long devotional for young women. It has a little area for note taking if you wish, and I find it to be a nice size, and meaningful book. 


You can NEVER go wrong with Carole P. Roman. She has so many WONDERFUL titles to choose from, that the hard part is choosing! We've been blessed with so many wonderful titles over the last couple of years. They are cherished treasures for us, and we love blessing others with these wonderful children's books. I HIGHLY recommend you check them out! We recently started reading one about the Vikings! There's so much to choose from, that you really can't go wrong here. 

Comic books: We love comic books, and comic books stores, and several kids in the family this year will be receiving one. I do caution that you flip through any comic book before gifting to a child, even the ones labeled for kids.  Some of the artwork is not child appropriate in my opinion, so caution should be used here. 

Various fiction: I always think of the person I'm shopping for, instead of myself, when it comes to books. Usually when I buy a gift, I'll buy what I personally like. But when it comes to books, you can't really do that. You have to take their interests in mind. For example: M and the foster son of my best friend both enjoy middle earth wizard type books. Another friend is into table top gaming. Then you have my niece who is all about Zombies. Mr. B loves non-fiction and natural disasters. Me? I like anything really, but if it's like a Hallmark movie in book form I'll probably love it, or a good dystopian adventure. If I bought them only the books I found interesting, it wouldn't be loved nearly as much. 





Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas


Are you like me, and realizing you totally dropped the ball on the whole Stocking thing? Well, I sure did this year! Luckily for me, I've discovered a few awesome Last Minute Stocking stuffer ideas!


These are available in 12 or 24 packs, and are GUARANTEED to not dry out when the lid is left off for up to 7 days! Now, we have not put this to the test yet because Mr. B nearly always puts the lid on, but a friend of ours did, and she took daily photos to show the progress. On day 7 the writing looked as good, OR BETTER, as it did on day 1! I don't know how they do it, but it's sure like MAGIC!






2.) Dollar Tree Bargains! 


 Speaking of magic....Small magic sets are a great hit! You can find them at your local Dollar Tree store for just $1.00. You can even order online! In addition to magic sets, you can find a great assortment of character licensed goods like magic towels, puzzles, books, and more! They have a lot of neat things to check out!


3.) Candy



Can you ever go wrong with candy? I LOVE these chocolate "oranges." They are one of my favorites! I'm also very partial to Aldi's chocolate bars! YUMMMMY!



When all else fails, everyone can always use socks and underwear!

That's what I plan to put in our stockings! Leave me a comment to tell me what you plan to put in yours!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Feed them.

I fully believe God puts people in the right place at the right time. I wanted to see a later showing of Star Wars, in an attempt to hopefully not be squeezed in like a sardine with a bazillion of my new closest friends. That didn't work out, and a 7:40 showing is what I was literally stuck in. But it was OK, because Geeks unite and all was well. Then I wanted to make a quick run to Walmart to grab some grape juice before going home, but a bathroom break at Sheetz was needed first. This put me getting to Walmart right about the same time this younger couple was walking out and talking to this guy who was obviously down on his luck and in need of....something. I admit, I didn't pay them much attention, and I truly tried to walk as far as from them as I could. But despite my best efforts, I still overheard the down on his luck guy say something along the lines of, "Yeah, I'm just having a bit of a hard time right now. But this guy was great and bought me some pants to wear, so I'm OK." I stopped. Literally stopped. I argued with myself...do...not...stop. Just keep walking. This guy looks like he's on something, you don't know what he's capable of...it's late. Are you an idiot? Just WALK! It's late....it's dangerous...Just keep going. Funny how that works, right? Never having been one to listen to good judgement, I turned around. Walked back out to him, interrupted the conversation-I'm good at that, too- and said, "Man, are you on the street?" I'm nothing if not blunt and to the point. He drops his head and says, "yeah...but it's OK. This man got me these nice clothes to wear. I'll be ok now." What I never heard come out of his mouth was a request for money, or anything else for that matter. I said, "Are you hungry?" (He LOOKED hungry...) He said, "Well, yeah. I could use a couple of things. But it's OK, I really needed some clothes." (And he really did.) I said, "Come on. Let me buy you something to eat." He says thanks, then says, "I really appreciate that, I really do. But these people here just got me a ride to somewhere where I can stay tonight." He has a friend or something who was letting him stay there-or so was his story. I asked if they could wait 5 mins, they said sure. They were getting him in Uber, so it was fine. I walked him in and told him to get whatever he wanted to eat. I went straight over to the Deli where there were sandwiches, salads, party trays to feed extra people for however much they cost, etc. He says, "I really like apples. I'd love to have some apples." Now I may be really stupid, and apples may be used in some kind of drug thing, I have no idea. But off to the apples we went where he searched until he decided on a bag of snack apples, and politely asked if he could have some caramel dip, too. So we walked up to the check out, and I wish I could describe the looks we got. Looks of disgust mainly. People stepping way back, and people looking at me like I'd lost my ever loving mind. So we stand there, him with his bags of clothes and a backpack. Me with a debit card. A gal looks at him very uneasy, then looks at me and says hi. I tell him to scan his stuff. Have him bag it, and I pay. A whopping $6.55. It's as I'm paying that a male worker comes up and starts interrogating this guy-for lack of a better description. To be honest, I'd have told him off. But the dude remained calm and polite, told him that someone had just purchased those clothes for him, and he was waiting on a ride, and I was buying him some apples. He kept thanking me, etc. He told me he had lost everything in a fire, and had nothing. That he was trying, etc. I told him I really didn't care how he had gotten himself in the situation he was in, I didn't care if he was telling the truth or lying and taking advantage of me. All I wanted was for him to get out of his current condition, better himself, and try to help someone else in the future. He walked out while telling me a bunch of thank you's, God Bless you's, and Merry Christmas.
Now you may be wondering what in the sam hill is the point to all of this. And you know what, I had the same thought. But I think this story is supposed to show that it doesn't matter. We are ALL human. Rich, Poor, Middle Class, Homeless....drug addict or church mouse. Jesus would have fed that man. He wouldn't have judged him on his outward appearance of what truly looked like another hopeless addict in a drug torn community. He wouldn't have kept walking, telling himself the guy could do better if he only chose to do so...or that he was only out taking advantage of people. Jesus wouldn't have cared how he voted, if he voted....Jesus died for that man, like he died for each of us. Simple as that. That man DOES have a choice, that's right. But isn't it the job of the Church to help people like that? Isn't it the job of the Church people to seek out those in need? Those who truly need led to God? Those who truly need fed? That man received more than clothes, apples, and a ride to some where. He received a chance. God orchestrated a way for 5 people's lives to converge at the same place, at the same time, in order for one of them to be given a chance. What he does with that chance is completely up to him. Maybe he will blow it, shoot up tonight, and be another statistic. But maybe he will think about it, and do something amazing and get up out of the slump he's in. The point is, no one knows. And that's where faith comes in. Faith that God knows his circumstances, and can lead him out of that place. Please, think about that the next time you pass by the dirty, scroungy looking person. Think about the fact that they have hope. They have a purpose on this earth, just like you do. Think about it....and feed them.







I decided to use this post for a weekly blog link up. Please click the photo below for more great blogs. 
Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wordless Wednesday Star Wars Edition

We LOVE Star Wars! So this "Wordless Wednesday" comes to you from a galaxy far, far away.

Chewie says:


Friday, December 8, 2017

Holiday Traditions



The Holiday Season is packed with memories for me. And some of those memories are from long standing traditions. One of those traditions was always a huge family dinner, with all of the extended family.

I can fondly remember piling into the car and heading to Mamaw and Papaw's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Being from a large family, all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins would be there. There was always so much food, play, and laughter. Ohhhh how I long for those days, just one more time!

It wasn't long until my papaw died from Cancer, and eventually, those gatherings just became too much for my mamaw. She eventually moved into a tiny home on our property, and we began hosting these family get togethers, with both Mom and Dad's family present. We would set up 2 tables, full of food, and everyone had a great time.

After my dad became sick, we had Christmas one last time-but it was just the immediate family. After that, the big dinners just faded away into distant memories until eventually, I found myself with just my niece and my son sitting in a restaurant booth for one holiday meal. I'll never forget an older man who was alone. He was without any family, and his wife had long since passed away. We invited him to eat with us, and it was one of the most enjoyable meals!

I so longed for those feasts of long ago that I began hosting a Christmas party every year. Unfortunately, I'm not sure we will be able to host this year due to health issues, but if we do I'll be sure to post pictures. It's still not quite the same as Holidays of yesterYear, but it's close.

Check out more posts from The Homeschool Review Crew!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Let the Little Children Come REVIEW TAKE 2



If you remember, I brought you a couple of Reviews from Let the Little Children Come. The first was a Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Tract Box. The second was a sampler pack of a variety of goodies.

Each Pack Contains:

John 3:16 FlipAbout
John 3:16 Animated Tract
Gospel Buttons FlipAbout
Wordless Bracelet Kit
The Lost Easter Egg Pop-up Tract
The Most Amazing House Pop-up Tract
The True Story of Christmas Animated Tract
Silicone Salvation Bracelet
Wordless Book
Where's Everybody Going? Animated Tract



Now is the best time if you plan on purchasing these sampler packs. These are a great way to fill Sunday School treasure boxes, stockings, and so much more! Please check them out! 

“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.


Wordless Wednesday


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Veritas Press Self-Paced Bible REVIEW


I had always wanted to try Veritas Press Self-Paced courses, and we were blessed with a chance to do a review for them a little over a year ago. Mr. B did so well with the course, I knew I had to make these a regular part of our daily homeschool. I went ahead and purchased their Self-Paced History Explorers to 1815, and Mr. B would beg to do his school work every day, so I was so very excited when they allowed me to review their Self-Paced Bible Judges to Kings

Each Self-Paced Bible course features 32 biblical events that are taught through fun games and videos. Judges to Kings covers the period from the book of Judges to Second Kings, and details the time from the early people of Israel to the exile to Babylon. You child will follow along with Levi, Vasko the Frog and Pallu the Badger as they learn about this portion of the Bible. 



The Course includes:
  • Art
  • Music 
  • Geography
  • Chronological events memorized to music
  • Names, Places, and Dates
  • Activities such as projects, worksheets, and tests
  • 32 Bible events

Each lesson has fun and clever videos to capture your child's attention and imagination. Mr. B loves watching them, and he giggles right along! After each video lesson are different activities such as games and quizzes, and then there are interspersed tests that recall what has been learned. Everything is done online. 


Mr. B is quite fond of the colorful graphics, and fun dialogue between the characters. I love how much he is learning, and how much he talks about it afterwards! 


There's a mix of real human characters, along with fun animated characters. 



The course is easy to navigate, and I like how it's laid out in such a way that high functioning kids on the spectrum can see what needs to be completed, and what has already been finished. 



The navigational bars on the left show what has been finished, and gives them the chance to go back and replay lessons as they want. It also shows what is still to come, as does the middle assignment table. 

It's also easy to see what your child's grades are, overall and per assignment. 




Overall, Mr. B loves this and so do it. It is exactly what we've come to expect from Veritas Press and their self-paced courses. We had a great time reviewing Genesis to Joshua last year, and we're both loving Self Paced History Explorers to 1815 and the Self-Paced Bible Judges to Kings. Mr. B sings the memory songs all the time, and has even sang them for church members! He is learning so much, and even talks about what he has learned with the elders and church, who are very much impressed with his overall knowledge on the subjects. He is asked to do one lesson each day, but frequently works ahead and asks to do one or two additional lessons.

There is just enough repetition to really make it all sink in, but not so much that it is boring or frustrating.  He retains what he has learned, and I can tell this program truly does work for him.

From a special needs standpoint, I find this to be perfect for high functioning autism. There's a routine to it, and of course the memory aspect makes ideal. You know when my child asks to do his school work on a WEEKEND  you've found a fantastic program that you have to share with others! I can't even begin to express how much he LOVES Veritas Press Self-Paces courses! He's set to finish both the Judges to Kings and the Explorers to 1815 before the end of this school year, and I hope to be able to have the next Self-Paced Bible ready for him by then, as well as some Ancient History since we've not gone over that era in a while. We both highly recommend this to others!






**We were provided a free subscription to Veritas Press Self-Paced Bible Judges to Kings in exchange for our honest and unbiased review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own, or those of my family.**







Wordless Wednesday


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Family Honor Plate REVIEW






The Family Honor Plate and discussion cards is a great tool to use with your family. The plate is a fun, easy craft that your family will cherish for years to come. The cards are a great way to foster positive and meaningful discussions.











Step #1 MOM AND DAD - BE THE EXAMPLE. BE THE ROLE-MODEL:

The virtues are listed in the center of the plate for mom and dad to use as their anchor, their moral compass to guide them in how they need to show up for and to their children. This is how our children learn what character (Christ's Character) is, what it looks like, what it feels like. Our children are watching us and learning from us.


Step #2 BE ON THE LOOKOUT:

Look for the good choices and attitude your kids/spouse are making and showing throughout the day. Track it back to the virtues and character it shows.


Step #3 CELEBRATE THEIR CHARACTER:

Turn dinnertime into a celebration when you catch someone making good choices and showing good character and present their meal on the FAMILY HONOR PLATE. This is when you:
· Talk about the choices they made and the virtues and character that it showed (Be specific).
· Talk about how they made everyone involved feel and the impact they had on people and how that is POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL.





About the cards:

Every question is followed up with "Why?" to take everyone's answers to a deeper more intimate level. That's where the magic is and the real conversation starts. So now when even a simple question such as..."What is your favorite dessert?" for example, rather than someone answering "Apple Pie" and then moving on to the next person, the whole family gets to walk down memory lane because it reminds them of Grandma Smith who always made apple pies with them when they came to visit." Her house always smelled of fresh baked pies and she gave the best hugs when we walked in the door."

Communication is the key to connecting, building and maintaining healthy relationships. When we are raise our children to be confident in their ability to communicate with others and get their point across, situations are less stressful and they have better outcomes.

My thoughts:

This is such a wonderful tool/craft to use with your children and family. My son loved putting his heart into painting this plate with me. Clean up was a breeze when we made an "Oops!" with just a little window cleaner and a soft cloth. We sat together and painted this plate one day when we were both having a very rotten day. You know those days, the ones where you just wish you could crawl under a big pile of pillows and not come out until the next day. So what better day than that to focus on our blessings, and the blessing that is our family.

I love the discussion cards, particularly from a special needs perspective. They are a great way to foster discussion, conversation, and especially social communication. It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day, and not really converse at meal time. It's easy to just watch TV, read a book, or play on an electronic device during dinner. That's something I think everyone needs to minimize! We try to have family time every night, but these cards really help us make the most out of that family time.

“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.

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, November 20, 2017

Addison Cooke and the Tomb of the Kahn REVIEW




Hold on to your seats for this fast paced, action packed thrill ride of an adventure read! 


About the Book: 



Addison Cooke is back in his latest laugh-out-loud adventure: ADDISON COOKE AND THE TOMB OF THE KHAN (Philomel; on sale November 14, 2017; 9780399173783; grades 3-7). Complete with a cast of funny, kid-friendly characters reminiscent of The Goonies, and a quest to discover ancient secrets, Addison strikes gold once again in his second adventure: this time a journey through Asia in pursuit of the legendary tomb of Genghis Khan.

Fresh off a victorious treasure hunt and rescue mission in South America, Addison Cooke just cannot seem to avoid rogue bandits, pesky booby traps, and secret treasure troves lined with gold. Such is the life of a junior archaeologist. Just as reliably, as Addison attracts adventure, his aunt and uncle attract kidnappers! This time they find themselves becoming the pawn in a Chinese gang's plan to steal the Khan's most prized possession, his golden whip. When a third player enters the race, a Russian gang intent on nabbing the goods and exacting revenge for what happened with the treasure of the Incas,Addison and his friends find themselves once again caught in the middle, trying to rescue his family and stop the treasure from falling into the wrong hands!

About the Author:

Jonathan W. Stokes (www.jonathanwstokes.com) is a former teacher who is now a Hollywood screenwriter. He has written screenplays on assignment for Warner Brothers, Universal, Fox, Paramount, New Line, and Sony/Columbia. Inspired by a childhood love of The Goonies and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Jonathan set out to write his first novel, Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas. Born in Manhattan, he currently resides in Los Angeles, where he can be found showing off his incredible taste in dishware and impressive 96% accuracy with high fives. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jonathanwstokes.

My Thoughts:

Addison Cooke and the Tomb of the Khan is packed with adventure and awesome! We had never experienced any of the Treasure Hunter series, and so we were very excited to dive in when this got here. This is a good stand alone, and I don't feel my son and I were at a loss at any point not having read the previous work. I would highly recommend you read the previous because if it is anything like The Tomb of the Khan, then it has to be fantastic. The story line is a little out there of course. I mean, I don't know too many school kids who are out fighting off international bandits and booby traps whilst hunting for hidden treasures, but that's what makes this so fantastic. It's full of imagination, wonder, laughter, and excitement.

If you love Indian Jones like shows, then you'll love this. You and your child will be transported to a thrilling adventure around Asia along side Addison and his friends in this fast pace thrill ride of a read! 


**I was provided a free copy in exchange for my honest review. I wasn't required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.**