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.
I think that all of my kids enjoy being read to. We all love learning about new places, and I just love learning about new cultures! I was thrilled to be given 4 new books to read and review: If You Were Me and Lived In…Mexico, If You Were Me and Lived In…South Korea, If You Were Me and Lived In…France, and lastly, If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway. All 4 books were written by Carole P Roman with Away We Go Media. The books are geared for ages PreK-8 years, and are each less than $9 for paperback. You can also get Kindle versions for .99. FYI, the Norway book isn’t available for purchase at the time of this posting.
Each book follows the same premise and style of storytelling, beginning with a picture of the globe and the location of the book’s country, as you can see in the picture above. Next you’ll learn a few fun facts about the capital city of each country: Mexico City, Oslo, Seoul, and Paris.
Next, you’ll learn some common names for each country, such as Hugo, Collette, Jiwoo, Magnus, and Sofia. Then you’ll learn what Mom and Dad are called in each country. I really love learning all of the new names, it’s so fun!
Next you’ll learn about each country’s money, common and popular places to visit, the different types of food that they eat there, and also some commonplace activities for each country. You’ll also learn each country’s word for “School!”
The books are 8.5″ x 8.5″ each, and are softcover, so they’re easy for young hands to maneuver. The pages are a matte finish and very colorful and easy to read! Since each book is about a country that is foreign to us and speaks foreign languages, there are several words in the books that are written in each language. As I was glancing through the books after they arrived, I saw some of the words and thought “Man, I’m gonna sound ridiculous trying to read these. The kids will get a kick out of me.” Well, never fear! At the back of each book is a pronunciation key! Ms. Carole’s got it going on with thinking ahead like that! I love it!
Lucas and Ethan are both in the age range for these books, but Lucas really enjoyed them the most (he’s 5). We would sit here and there and I read the books aloud to them. I really think they’re best for the younger crowd, but it depends on your child, of course. These are also great books for beginning readers. You would definitely need to help them with some of the bigger words, but they’re very easy for the littles to understand. We really enjoyed these books very much.
Be sure to click below and read reviews from my fellow Crew members who received the same books that we did!
I don’t know about you , but I love pens. I really don’t do that much writing unless I’m balancing my checkbook or making homeschool plans, but I love pens. Actually, I tend to buy them in large quantities because the kids like to run off with them, and my purse also enjoys eating them. Nice, huh? The things we go through as parents! Enter the UGLee pen. The UGLee pen is an ergonomic pen that was designed by physician Dr. James Lee, and is great for people who do lots of writing and have issues with things like carpal tunnel, arthritis, and it’s even great for kids. If kids in public school today do as much writing as I did in school, this pen would be so awesome for them to have.
I was excited about reviewing this pen, because even though I don’t write very much, when I do write I almost always experience discomfort. Using the UGLee pen, though, writing isn’t a pain for my hands at all anymore! It is for my brain, though. Thanks, kids. 😉 The grip of the pen is designed to actually grip your hand, instead of your hand gripping the pen, and also works with the contours of your finger bones. You can go HERE to watch lots of cool videos about the UGLee pen, like how it got its name and what it’s made of.
For this review, I received a 3-pack of pens: a red one, grey one, and I can’t remember what the other one was, because I think the kids ran off with it. I managed to hide the other 2 from them in my purse. Yay me! I try to keep one UGLee pen in my checkbook so that it’s easily accessible if I’m out and about (and the rare occasion that I actually write a check), and the other I keep in the zipper compartment in the middle of my purse. Y’all, I LOVE this pen! The grip is so cushy and it’s the most comfortable pen I’ve found to write with. If I need a pen to write with, the UGLee pen is the one I look for first. It’s very lightweight, too, so handling it is a breeze! I would get one for each of my kids if I knew they wouldn’t lose them. The UGLee pen is for real the best pen I’ve ever used. The ink is smooth as well, and doesn’t smudge. The grip also doesn’t degrade; you can sit and chew on it if that’s your thing! My only complaint is that the grip material is a bit of a lint magnet, so I do have to clean it off every once in a while.
You can go HERE to order your very own 3-pack of UGLee pens in your choice of color, OR, you can enter to win a 3-pack of random color pens below. Or be double-cool and do both! UGLee Pen has graciously allowed me to offer this awesome giveaway to you!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Guest Post from Paula of Whole Intentions
I feel like a piece of chocolate.
Oh, doesn’t that movie popcorn smell heavenly!
I’ll eat that last cupcake. . .we don’t want it to go to waste now, do we.
What do you crave? Krispy Creme Donuts? A thick slice of bread and butter? What foods trigger the munchies? Peanuts? Chewy candy? The crunch of potato chips? We joke about the cravings of pregnant women, but are you the average Joe – or Josephine – with food cravings all the time?
What are your cravings telling you?
They may tell you that you have a bad habit of late night snacking, or that your body needs more minerals. But sometimes it’s deeper than that.
Food cravings are a key symptom of candida. What’s candida? Imagine two armies at war in your gut. One side is the good guys – bacteria like lactobacillus found in yogurts and fermented foods, and the other side is the bad guys – candida, the yeast-like fungus that wants to take over and create chaos on planet YOU.
What kind of chaos? You had to ask. . .
Symptoms of Candida
- athletes’ foot
- brain fog
- cold hands or feet
- cradle cap
- cravings for sweets
- diaper rash
- food sensitivities or reactions
- hay fever
- heart burn
- heart palpitations
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- joint pain
- lack of appetite
- mood swings
- muscle aches and pain
- panic attacks
- poor memory and concentration
- pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
- rashes and dry red or white patches
- respiratory problems
- sinus congestion
- thrush (white coating in mouth or vagina)
Like any army, candida needs supplies to do its dirty work – it craves them.
The common foods candida craves are the same ones that feed it and help it grow:
- moldy cheeses (brie, camembert, etc.)
- sweet sauces
- sweet fruits (oranges, bananas, grapes, and dried fruits like raisins)
- starchy vegetables (pumpkin, potato, etc.)
and most importantly. . . sugar.
Oh, yeah, candida LOVES sugar. It hugs and kisses it. It dreams about it, plans exotic vacations with it, and is just a tad bit obsessed. Are the foods you’re craving supplying ammo to the enemy? Because, you know. . .if you feed them . . .they will come. 😉
Most people have a sweet tooth. I won’t lie – I do too! (do NOT ask me how much I love chocolate and peanut butter). Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re asking yourself, “But if candida loves sugar, breads, cheeses and fruit – what in the world do I live off? Bread and water?
Scratch that – NO bread. Just water. Whaaaaaaa!
No wait. . .really. . .there is a happy ending to this story. . .
Often times when you crave something sweet you can diminish it by eating small amounts of protein throughout the day (eggs, tuna, chicken, etc.). The ebook Candida Crusher suggests taking chromium picolinate two to three times daily with meals (about 500 mcg per dose). But the best way to fight cravings is with this simple rule: if you crave it. . .don’t eat it. You’ll find that the more you avoid the foods that call your name, the better you feel – and soon those cravings fade into non-existance.
But what about the times those cravings start to get the better of you? What if you need to make dinner and dessert for company? What do you do when everyone is eating brownies and you know you can’t have them?
You can still enjoy delicious foods safe for a candida diet , and yes, candida-diet approved desserts because the naturally sweet herb stevia and xylitol are the only two forms of sweetener that DON’T feed candida.
While it’s not true that everyone who craves sugar has candida, it is true that most everyone with candida will crave sugar.