Archives for November 2013
I just love doing giveaways for y’all, and I was overjoyed to be invited to participate in this awesome new giveaway. And just before Christmas, no less. One lucky reader will win a $250 gift certificate to Timberdoodle Co. They offer awesome gifts relating to History, Bible, Language Arts, Geography, and lots more. What I love about their site is that you can browse by age. Having 4 kids, that’s almost essential for me.
As your holiday celebrations begin in earnest, how would you like to win $250 in gift certificates from Timberdoodle Co.? Our very own Bow of Bronze Launch Team has teamed up to bring you this very special giveaway to help celebrate the launch of Homeschool Encouragement.
Timberdoodle Co. has long been a standing favorite in the Homeschool community, and with good reason! You can surely finish your Christmas shopping through Timberdoodle with this prize money, or you could use it for much needed Homeschool curriculum.
This giveaway has not been sponsored by the Timberdoodle Co in any way – rather this lovely team of bloggers has come together and each contributed towards the prize. We are so pleased to have the support of our amazing readers, and this is one way we can bless you in return.
Amy at Homeschool Encouragement
Lisa at Home to 4 Kiddos
Lisa at Tales of a Homeschool Family
Laurie at Our Abundant Blessings
Jennifer at Thou Shall Not Whine
Becca at C Family of Six
Cynthia at Cynce’s Place
Lisa at Golden Grasses
Tara at This Sweet Life of Mine
Michele at Family, Faith and Fridays
Marcy at Ben and Me
Gena at I Choose Joy
Ellen at Grace Tells Another Story
Lisa at Our Simple Kinda Life
Kim at Natural Beach Living
Heather at Marine Corp Nomads
Monique at Living Life and Learning
Penny at Knee Deep in Grace
Kristi at The Potter’s Hand Academy
Amy at Are We There Yet?
Miranda at The Pebble Pond
I cannot believe that Thanksgiving Day is just 1 week away! Before we know it, Christmas will be here and gone, and we’ll be into the year 2014. We have had such a blessed year in 2013, and so many things to be thankful for. Most importantly, the fact that Christ died for our sins. Our family was also blessed recently when my husband was promoted at work. He’s such a hard worker and wonderful provider for our family. I am so blessed to be married to him. On a side note, today is our 16th wedding anniversary!
Last year, we made a cute Thankful Tree out of construction paper, paper lunch bags, and foam hand shapes that my Mother-in-Love gave me. These are so easy to make, and you can really put them together however you want. I had the kids come up with things they were thankful for, and wrote one thing on each hand. I used the paper bags as tree branches, and 2 sheets of construction paper as the tree base.
I hope you’ll forgive the wall. When the kids were younger they drew on pretty much all of the walls in the living room.
As for our Thanksgiving menu, I don’t usually do anything elaborate. I do the usual turkey, mashed taters, gravy, green beans, rolls, and a dessert. This year’s dessert will either be an Andes mint pie, or a harvest peach pie, both from Schwan’s. I’m all for making things from scratch, but sometimes I just really want something already put together for me. I don’t feel guilty for that at all. I usually start to cook in the morning some time, and then everything is ready for a late lunch. We have “leftovers” for dinner as well, because let’s face it, even though a lot of the cooking is hands-off, I’m tired later on and don’t feel like cooking anything else. Last year, I brined our turkey, and cut out the backbone so that it would roast a little quicker. Goodness, it was divine! I may brine again this year, but I need to find a bag big enough for the turkey to fit in. I would sometimes love to cook something a little more fancy, but my family is pretty vanilla, so I reckon I’ll just stick to the basics.
So, what are you having for Thanksgiving lunch/dinner this year? Are you making anything that more out of the ordinary than you normally would?
I love reading books so much, when I actually have the time to sit down and do so. When I heard about the book At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, written by Franklin Sanders from At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, I knew that this would be a very unique book. I wasn’t disappointed. I received the physical copy, which is 379 pages long and costs $22.95. There is also a digital version available for $16.95.
Franklin and his wife Susan reside in the state of Tennessee, just like my family and I. I had never heard of Dugwood Mudhole, although I must say that being Southern as I am, the name doesn’t surprise me one bit. In case you’re like me and have (had) no clue where it’s located, there’s a nifty drawing of Tennessee in the beginning of the book highlighting a few major cities, as well as showing just where Dogwood Mudhole is located. It’s not actually a town, though. According to the book’s preface, it’s just a crossroad! It kind of makes me think of people who have a road named after themselves, and their whole family loves on that road. But, I digress.
What’s unique about this book, is that it didn’t originally start out being a book. Mr. Sanders publishes a newsletter called The Moneychanger, and the book is a compilation of those newsletters beginning in June 1995 and ending in September 2002. The book is broken down into 4 sections: Leaving Memphis Five Miles at a Time, Living in the Country Changes You, Learning Curve, and A Real Farm. The Sanders’ dream was to live an agrarian life-style. I’ll be honest, I had never heard this word before, so I had to look it up in the dictionary. I love learning new words, it makes me feel smart! Anyhow, an agrarian lifestyle is basically living off of the land. In the wake of Y2K (yeah, that did disappoint in a sense, didn’t it?) they were preparing themselves to be more self-sufficient. Franklin’s wife Susan reminds me a bit of myself…she doesn’t want to acquire anything that eats (except the kids, of course. Once you have those, you can’t take them back. My OB said so.). Of course, you know how it goes…between Franklin and the kids, they gain chickens (yay I love chickens!), horses, cows, pigs…you get the idea. They build up their farm, basically. They go from a nuclear family (I had to look that one up as well…I’m not as smart as I thought I was, I reckon) to a multi-generational family when their children marry and start their own families.
Ok, so you know I’m Southern. I speak Southern, and understand much of the slang and accent. You can tell when someone’s pretending to talk Southern, and then when they actually are Southern. It’s a gift of sorts, you could say. Mr. Sanders is Southern. ^Just look at that picture of him up there. He even looks Southern. Yeehaw! This book was so much fun to read, y’all. It oozes Southern speak! I loved reading about the family’s closeness and their adventures. These people travel a lot, y’all. Every time I turned around, I was reading about a new adventure of theirs. It’s great! Franklin even spent a little time in jail around the Holidays one year. That’s one adventure I never want to go on. Their dog, Jack, reminds me of our cat Josie. The dog is crazy and likes to run out in the road and get hit, just like our cat. He went from being a $30 dog to a $1,000 dog. Thankfully our cat hasn’t been that expensive, although I’m not sure how many lives she has left. Maybe 4 if she’s lucky. Jack is a lucky dog…literally.
This book is pretty inspiring. I love the family dynamic here. My husband and I dream of owning a large piece of land one day that we could live off of, and I would love if the kids and their families lived with us, too! I’d still have to have my electricity and running water, though. I’m not living without internet and an indoor outhouse. I can’t wait for the next installment, Volume Two: Best Thing We Ever Did. It’s gonna be mine! Maybe I should ask for it for Christmas?
Be sure to click below and read reviews from my fellow Crew mates!
Apologia Educational Ministries has been around for quite some time, and is pretty well-know in the homeschool community, since it is a popular homeschool science curriculum. I have heard nothing but good things about Apologia in the years that I’ve been a homeschooling Mom. When I was given the chance to review Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics, I seriously squealed! I’ve wanted to try Apologia for so long, but it was never really in our budget. I also received the accompanying Notebooking Journal for upper-elementary ages, as well as the Junior Notebooking Journal for younger ages. The textbook is $39, and each journal is $24.
First of all, I want to talk about the textbook. I love the textbook. It reminds me of school books growing up. It’s hardback, and was written by Jeannie Fulbright. It uses the Charlotte Mason method to teach students how God made everything in the universe. This is a Christian-based curriculum, which I totally dig! The book is approximately 280 pages, and includes a table of contents, 14 lessons, supply list, answer key, and an index. Note I said there are 14 lessons. That doesn’t sound like much, does it? Well, these are very in-depth lessons, and are quite a few pages long each. You can break them down however you want, and take as much time as you want or need to finish each lesson.
The beginning of the book contains a “how to use the book” section, which discusses notebooking acitvities, projects and experiments, the notebooking journals, and there are also some website extras. There’s also a step-by-step guide that tells you exactly how to teach your children using the textbook. I really love that you’re given a supply list, so that you can go purchase what you need for each lesson. Here are the lesson topics: Chemistry & Physics, Moving Matter, Building Blocks of Creation, Compound Chemistry, Multitude of Mixtures, Mechanics in Motion, Dynamics of Motion, Work in the World, Sounds of Energy, Light of the World, Thermal Energy, Electrifying Our World, Mysterious Magnetism, and Simple Machines. Each lesson is broken down into sections, and also has several “Try This!” activities that correspond with the lesson. The sections also help you keep track of where you last left off if you’re not following the recommended schedule. At the end of each lesson is a final review, notebooking assignments, and a fun project or experiment! There are lots of exciting things to learn about with Apologia Science!
The notebooking journals are super-cool. The upper-elementary journal is spiral-bound, over 230 pages, and like the textbook, contains a “hot to use this book” section at the beginning, but it also contains a daily schedule. WIN! Y’all know how much I dislike planning. I know it’s something I need to get better at, but here, all the work is done for you! According to the schedule, if you do your Apologia Science work 2 days a week, this book will give you 28 weeks of lessons. Each lesson is broken down into 4 days of work, but you could stretch it even further if you want to do more than 2 days of work per week. The schedule chart tell you what to read in the textbook, as well as instructions for what to work on in the journal. Each lesson in the journal starts off with coloring pages, and also contains writing space for the to jot down facts they learned in the lesson. Students can also draw pictures or diagrams to go along with their facts. There is also scripture copywork, cut-and-fold mini books, extra experiments and hands-on activities, project pages, which allow students to write what they did and learned from the textbook projects, and field trip sheets that allow you to record information about any field trips that you take that are related to chemistry and/or physics.
The junior notebooking journal is pretty similar to the regular one, but it’s geared for lower-elementary students, or those who are perhaps less articulated in their writing skills. There are more opportunities for drawing pictures of what students learned, as opposed to more writing for the older student. The junior journal also contains a review at the end of each lesson well as vocabulary crosswords. The end of the junior journals also contains a 50-question review of the whole course. This journal is a bit smaller than the regular one, at just over 200 pages, including the answer keys.
For comparison, here is a top-to-bottom comparison of the 2 journals. The top is the regular journals, and the junior is on the bottom. You can see that there is more writing space on the top one, and more drawing space on the bottom one. I love that each journal is tailored to specific needs and skill levels.
We really enjoyed this science course. Growing up, I remember Science being dull and boring and blah. You just cannot be bored with Apologia. There are so many fun and engaging activities to do while you’re learning. Learning should be fun, and with Apologia, it is! I did most of the read-alouds myself, but I did also allow Rachelle, Issac, and Ethan to read some as well. Issac and Rachelle took turns with the upper journal, while Ethan used the junior journal by himself. We did 2 days of work per week. Of course, Lucas had to get in on the experiment action, because at 5, he thinks he cannot be left behind. I didn’t get experiment pictures, because with 4 kids doing them together I was focused on them. Perhaps I’ll start a blog series soon of each lesson, and post pictures that way! We really enjoyed Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics from Apologia, and I can’t wait to dig in even more with it!
Be sure to click below to read reviews from my fellow Crew mates!
Can you believe it’s November already?! I can’t. This year has seriously flown by like crazy. When I was younger, this is what I always wished for…for time to go faster. Now I can barely keep up!
To celebrate November’s birthstone, Topaz, author Hallee Bridgeman has decided to put the Kindle version of Topaz Heat on sale for 99 cents for the entire month! Topaz Heat is the final book in the Jewel Trilogy series, and follows Sarah, the youngest of 3 sisters, who is a bit of a stuck up person who is adopted at a young age and is saved from a horrible life of abuse; and Derrick, a former street kid who leaves his old rough life and exchanges it for a life dedicated to Christ. From the moment he meets her, Derrick is in love with Sarah, but she doesn’t feel the same about him; in fact, she feels the complete opposite.
If you’ve not read any of Hallee’s romance books, I really wish you’d check them out. She is a fantastic writer, and her Christian romance novels are edgy, but they are definitely not over the top, and I would recommend them to any Christian who is looking for some fantastic romance stories to dive into!
I am celebrating by giving away 2 copies of Topaz Heat! Be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
Disclaimer: The post contains affiliate links, which help support our family. This post itself is not sponsored by the author. All giveaway entries will be verified.