4.24.2017

2017-2018 Homeschool Curriculum Revealed



I love this time of year.. new curriculum. It's Christmas for Homeschool Moms! We start back to school on July 6th and we should finish up around the end of April. Aidan will be in 7th grade and Noah in 5th grade. They are growing up so fast. We are proud of the young men they are becoming. 

Here is a look at the curriculum we will be using this year... 


Noah (5th Grade)



Aidan (7th Grade)




Curriculum They Use Together



Hope you enjoyed our curriculum reveal. If you have used any of these programs I'd love to know if you enjoyed them. 
What new curriculum will your family be using this year?


4.22.2017

Aidan's 7th Grade Book List (2017 - 2018)





Noah's 5th Grade Book List (2017 - 2018)





Our Read Aloud Book List for 2017-2018





3.29.2017

Italy - Food Passport




This week our family "traveled" to Italy on our Food Passport. Italy is filled with many amazing recipes... it was hard to choose just one. We went with Spinach & Mozzarella Gnocchi with Cheesy Garlic Bread (from Blue Apron). The Italian dinner has three types of cheese. The gnocchi is coated in a delicious tomato sauce with garlic, herbs, fresh mozzarella and sprinkled with parmesan. On the side, we enjoyed, oven-toasted garlic bread with a creamy layer of fontina. Doesn't that sound wonderful... it was!!





Along with eating our delicious Italian meal we also took the time to learn about Italy... their food, culture and so much more! Below are a few videos we enjoyed watching:


  















Here are some interesting facts that we learned about Italy:
  • Population: 61.6 million people live in Italy (2016)
  • Capital: Roma (Rome), which is often called 'Eternal City', with 2.6 mio inhabitants and Italy’s biggest city.
  • Name: Repubblica Italiana (Italian Republic) or simply: Italia, Nickname: 'Bel Paese' which means beautiful country
  • Government: Democracy, Republic
  • Language: Italian as well as German, French and Ladin in some regions in Northern Italy.
  • Literacy: More than 98% can read and write.
  • Religion: mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 90%)
  • Currency: 1 Euro=100 cents, before 2001 Italian Lira
  • History: The country has a long history, as Rome its capital city today was founded in 753BC. After the Roman Empire broke down in 395AD, there were many separate kingdoms and city states. However, Italy became one nation only in 1861 and since then includes the islands of Sicily and Sardegna. It was a kingdom until 1946 after the second World War, where Italy sided with the German Nazis. Italy is founding member of the European Union (EU) and the NATO.
  • Flag: The colors represent these virtues: hope (green), faith (white), and charity (red).


Also, using this song the boys learned to count in Italian:


There are many more things to learn and explore about Italy. It is an amazing place. Hopefully one day we will get to visit there in person! 

Next up..... (Greece, Europe) 

   

A Dog For Michael - Book Review



Book Description:

Adopt a rescue dog and change both your lives! Doug was eight years old when he arrived at a rescue facility, confused and scared. His owner had passed away, and her final wish was for Doug to have another loving family. She had raised and loved him since he was a five-week-old puppy and knew he would make another family as happy as he had made her. When eight-year-old Michael and his family adopted Doug from the shelter, a happy new chapter of his life began! A Dog for Michael is the true story of Doug's adoption and his new life. Anyone who spent time with Doug fell in love with this sweet, funny, and joyful dog. He has traveled throughout the USA with Michael and made friends in every city and town he visited. Many people have been motivated to adopt adult dogs after getting to know him. Shelter dogs are desperate for a home, and adult dogs make wonderful companions. If you can't adopt, consider supporting your local adoption facility, either financially or by volunteering-you will make a difference in the lives of the animals and the generous, committed people who run these organizations. ~from amazon 

My Review:

This is such a sweet story! Sweet little Doug.. I just wanted to squeeze him and bring him home! 

This is a great story to help people realize how much an older dog can bring love and joy into your life. This book has been enjoyed by both my sons (ages 9 and 11). My youngest son has actually read the book 3 times since we received it. 

The book is great quality. Sturdy and hardback with a smooth cover... one of the nicest quality children books I've seen in a while. The pictures in the book are full of color and capture the story completely. 

This is a must read for families out there who love dogs... well, animals of any of kind. It will touch your heart to read this sweet story. 





Harvest - Book Review



Book Description:

A beautifully photographed, gift-worthy guide to growing, harvesting, and utilizing 47 unexpected garden plants to make organic pantry staples, fragrances, floral arrangements, beverages, cocktails, beauty products, bridal gifts, and more.

Every garden--not just vegetable plots--can produce a bountiful harvest! This practical, inspirational, and seasonal guide will help make any garden more productive and enjoyable with a variety of projects using unexpected and often common garden plants, some of which may already be growing in your backyard.

Discover the surprising usefulness of petals and leaves, roots, seeds, and fruit: turn tumeric root into a natural dye and calamintha into lip balm. Make anise hyssop into a refreshing iced tea and turn apricots into a facial mask. Crabapple branches can be used to create stunning floral arrangements, oregano flowers to infuse vinegar, and edible chrysanthemum to liven up a salad. With the remarkable, multi-purpose plants in Harvest, there is always something for gardeners to harvest from one growing season to the next.


My Review:

This is a lovely book.. full of wonderful information. Who knew there were so many things you can do with garden plants... amazing! Not only does this book have 47 projects for you to enjoy... the photographs in the book are beautiful. 

Harvest has helped to spark my imagination... 




3.21.2017

Quick Tips For Busy Families - Book Review


Book Description: 

Ingenious Parenting Shortcuts Every Mom and Dad Should Know
Parenting can be hard work, and our lives continue to get busier and busier. Is it possible to lighten the load but still raise great kids?

From his experiences as a dad as well as interacting with countless other parents, Jay Payleitner has gathered scores of secrets worth passing along--simple things veteran moms and dads have learned over the years. Things as simple as passing along truths during TV commercials. Or connecting with your children as you tuck them in at night. Or learning how to laugh over spilt milk.

Some of the ideas are old-school secrets that were passed from one generation to the next; others deal with issues that would have never crossed Grandma and Grandpa's minds. All of them are easy to implement. 

This book is designed for a quick, breezy reading experience, letting parents pick and choose those ideas that will make their lives easier, their kids happier, and their futures even brighter.


My Review:

This is a wonderful book... full of tips and advice that you can take and start using right away! The book is easy to read with pretty short chapters and helpful for any family to use. This book has a great Christian inspiration and I highly recommend it.



Nothing To Prove (Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard) - Book Review



Book Description: 

No More Pretending. No More Performing. No More Fighting to Prove Yourself.

Are you trying your best to measure up—yet you still feel as if you’re losing ground?

You are not alone.

Jennie Allen understands the daily struggle so many of us face with the fear that we are not enough. And she invites us into a different experience, one in which our souls overflow with contentment and joy. In Nothing to Prove she calls us to…

* Find freedom from self-induced pressure by admitting we’re not enough—but Jesus is. 
* Admit our greatest needs and watch them be filled by the only One who can meet them. 
* Make it our goal to know and love Jesus, then watch what He does in and through us.

As you wade into the refreshing truth of the more-than-enough life Jesus offers, you’ll experience the joyous freedom that comes to those who are determined to discover what God can do through a soul completely in love with Him.

Discover the answer to your soul-deep thirst

Too many of us have bought into the lie that our cravings will be satisfied if we are enough and if we have enough. So we chase image, answers, things, and people—and we wonder all the while, Why am I still thirsty?

My single goal with this book is to lead your thirsty soul to the only source of lasting fulfillment: Jesus. He is the living water, a limitless supply that will not only quench your thirst but will fill you and then come pouring out of you into a thirsty world. 

Because of Him, you are loved. You are known. You can take a deep breath.

Because you have nothing to prove.

My Review: 

I love those words... "Because Of Him, you are loved."

This book has changed my life. It has been such a blessing to read and I am happy I was given the chance to review it. My hope is that others will take the time to read these words and feel the love of our Lord all around them.

The world tries to tell us that we are not enough.. we will never be.. we were never meant to be... but God's love shows us who we are and what we are meant to be! To truly know Jesus is enough!

Order this book today.. I feel the Holy Spirit was working through Jennie Allen when the book was written and it will help you in more ways than I can express.



With Love Wherever You Are - Book Review


Book Description:

Everyone knows that war romances never last . . .
After a whirlwind romance and wedding, Helen Eberhart Daley, an army nurse, and Lieutenant Frank Daley, M.D. are sent to the front lines of Europe with only letters to connect them for months at a time.

Surrounded by danger and desperately wounded patients, they soon find that only the war seems real―and their marriage more and more like a distant dream. If they make it through the war, will their marriage survive?

Based on the incredible true love story, With Love, Wherever You Are is an adult novel from beloved children’s author Dandi Daley Mackall.



My Review: 

A beautiful love story... you won't be able to put this book down!

A handsome military man, a beautiful nurse... love at first sight.... simply amazing... 

This story is told through letters they wrote to one another. This is a classic love story of two loving souls.... 





Finding God's Blessings In Brokenness - Book Review


Book Description:

Is it possible to be broken and blessed at the same time?
Life brings so many hardships, from failed marriages to lost jobs, from health crises to broken relationships. How can we stay strong in our faith in spite of these obstacles? Trusted pastor and bestselling author Dr. Charles F. Stanley answers these questions and more in Finding God’s Blessings in Brokenness. “Affliction acts as spiritual fertilizer on a believer’s faith,” he says, and can enrich our hearts and spirit.
Perhaps you’ve already experienced circumstances so shattering that you may wonder if it’s even possible to pick up the pieces. And maybe you can’t. But God can—and the good news is He wants to reassemble the shards of your life into a wholeness that comes only from Him.

My Review:

This book came into my life at the perfect time. I've been struggling through some troubles and sadness... reading these words helped to life me up. This is a small gift book written by Pastor Charles Stanley. I found peace reading the words and looking at the photographs. This is a must read for anyone in need of some encouragement.




Nascar Speedpark


I'm a little behind on writing this post, however, the end of February we were in need of a break. My husband, myself and our two boys (Aidan and Noah) went to Pigeon Forge, TN for a fun day at Nascar Speedpark. If you have never been there before you must visit. There are eight go-cart tracks, mini golf, rock climbing and so much more! Plus, you can buy an all day pass and enjoy the rides over and over again. 





  
Inside the building is a big arcade. There are so many fun games to play and if it rains you can still enjoy all the fun (plus they offer a raincheck so you can visit again soon).  




Nascar Speedpark is a great place to visit... especially for wild boys like mine, ha! After spending the day there we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Joe's Crab Shack... sooo good!! 




2 more weeks of Homeschool then we are ready for more adventures! 



2.15.2017

7 Can Soup Recipe - Pioneer Woman



Just wanted to share another amazing recipe from Pioneer Woman. We are yet to try one of her recipes that we don't enjoy. They are all so yummy! 

7 Can Soup serves 6 and has a bit of a taco flavor. It is easy to make and even our boys (ages 11 & 9) love having it for supper. 



Ingredients: 

  • 1 can chili (she calls for meat only chili but we make it with beans) 
  • 1 can (15 ounce) Kidney Beans
  • 1 can (15 ounce) Pinto Beans 
  • 1 can (15 ounce) Black Beans
  • 1 can (15 ounce) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounce) Corn 
  • 1 can (10 ounce) Rotel
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Velveeta Cheese - Her recipe says 8 ounce.. we like to use a little more.  






To Make:


Without draining any of the cans, empty into a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed. 

Dice the cheese and stir into the soup until melted. It's that easy!!!! Serve immediately! 

2.10.2017

Kingdom Family Devotional - Book Review




Book Description: 

This new devotional from Dr. Tony Evans and his son Jonathan Evans will provide both single and married parents with a resource tool to maximize those family devotional times, such as the dinner hour or bedtime. The family virtues–based devotional provides 52 separate topics, one for each week of the year, and five devotionals within each topic that will guide devotional times Monday through Friday. This is a wonderful way to build a spiritually strong family week by week, day after day―a perfect way to head into the weekend. Topics range from the basics of the faith―such as salvation, spiritual warfare, prayer, forgiveness, and discipleship―to essentials of living as followers of Christ: money, prayer, family, friends, and priorities. The subject matter is simplified so even young children can grasp important concepts. This is a perfect resource for busy families.


My Review:

Where has this book been all my life... I am a homeschool Mother of two young boys and I'm always looking for new curriculum, books, etc.. to help our family learn about the love of the Lord together. Then came along this book. The answer to my prayers. This a great read for any family to enjoy (regardless of the age of your child). The book is laid out in different weeks, such as the first weeks lessons are about love, the next week moves onto respect and so on. There are 52 weeks covered in this book.. all with different topics. These are short, easy reads for your family to enjoy. Our family usually reads them during or after supper each night. There are 5 days composed in each week. Kingdom Family Devotional offers scriptures to read and memorize, lessons to discuss as a family and even hands on projects to work and learn together. 

This is a wonderful book. Be sure to buy one soon... you and your family will love it! 



The Kindness Challenge - Book Review



One month to a great relationship…with anyone!

Think of your toughest relationship. Think of a relationship that is good but could be great. Think of a group of people that drives you nuts. You want to show more kindness and generosity, but sometimes you’re just tired, stretched, and frustrated. Besides, would small actions make that big a difference? Yes!

After years of extensive research, Shaunti Feldhahn has concluded that kindness is a superpower. It can change any relationship, make your life easier and better, and transform our culture. But how does it work? And how can you show kindness when you don’t feel like it?

In The Kindness Challenge, Shaunti explores….
* Three simple acts that make all the difference in any relationship (with a spouse, child, co-worker, brother-in-law…)
* Whether kindness is ever the wrong approach 
* The seven ways you may be unkind and never realize it 
* Eight types of kindness—and which might be the best fit for you
* Ten sneaky obstacles that get in the way of giving praise
* Practical ways to persevere when kindness is tough
* How kindness in marriage leads to benefits in the bedroom (yes, really!)
* Why your acts of kindness today can help transform the world

With self-assessments, day-to-day tips, a 30-day challenge, and specific kindness ideas, The Kindness Challenge can make your toughest relationships better and your good relationships great—starting today.

Try the 30 Day Kindness Challenge and be a part of a kindness revolution in your home, your world, and yourself.


Have We Ever Needed Kindness More?
 
In The Kindness Challenge, innovative researcher Shaunti Feldhahn reveals three simple steps proven to make any interaction better and any relationship thrive—whether with a romantic partner, coworkers, a child, siblings, your hard-to-please stepmother, or rude people at the grocery store. You’ll learn which ways of acting, speaking, and thinking will make the greatest difference for your life. 

Doing these simple acts for thirty days not only has power to change the other person—it has the power to change you! 

In these pages, Shaunti introduces you to a host of people from all walks of life who have tested the 30-Day Kindness Challenge in real-life situations and have seen the difference it makes. She shows you the inspiring results of her before-and-after surveys. And she challenges you not only to try the 30-Day Kindness Challenge for yourself but to be a part of the movement to transform our culture.


My Review:: 

Everyone should read this book. The Kindness Challenge helps to improve any relationship (giving examples, solutions and great ways to change your attitude). This is a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is just looking for a better way to improve the relationships around you. Shaunti Feldhahn helps to remind you what the Bible says about kindness... this book will truly help you walk on a better path.