Thursday, November 1, 2012

Preparing for Advent - Day 1

This month, I am going through this book, Preparing My Heart for Advent by Ann Marie Stewart.  I had no plans to post about it, but have felt compared to share. If nothing else, it will help to keep me accountable. And please be gracious, I am posting from my notes, and will keep this very raw.

Today's main reading comes from Zechariah 7:11-13
11 “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. 12 Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. 13 Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts. (NKJV)
Thoughts: The Jewish people refused to pay attention, turned their backs, stopped listening, and turned their hearts to stone. Because of their actions, God's action was to not listen when they called to Him.

My prayer for today:

Lord, create in me a clean heart. Soften it with your love. Prepare me for Your Advent-Your coming- in my heart, our family, and this time of joy. Draw me to you so I will overflow with Your Grace. Take my fingers from my ears, turn me toward You so I may be fact to face with my Redeemer. Come, Emmanuel, Come!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weary Mom? What's all the hub-bub?

If you have been on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media outlet, you have had to have seen something about this book called, "Hope for the Weary Mom. Where God meets you in your Mess".  The new expanded version released Tuesday, and in a two day event, over 26,000 ebooks were given away. Apparently Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker hit upon a nerve among women.  So what is the big deal?

When you look up "weary" it is defined as:
1: exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness

2: expressing or characteristic of weariness

3: having one's patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted —used with of

I looked up this definition after I was included in group of women that were put together to help launch this book.  I began examining this list, praying over it, and meditating on it. Was this really how I saw mothering? Was my pleasure in my children exhausted; had my endurance been exhausted? Had I really gotten to this point?

Can I be honest? I really didn't like the direction I thought this was all going. Doesn't the Bible tell us not to grow weary? Aren't we supposed to run the race well? I began to believe this was going to be a group of women that sat around complaining about their children and husbands, and just commiserate over chocolate. I went ahead and picked up the book and began reading. And I began to see what Brooke and Stacey were wanting to share with all the Moms out there that were tired.

It's not about being weary. This book is about the HOPE.
"Sometimes, I want to run away. But if I turn away from Jesus, where will I go?"
That, my friends is the summary of the whole book. When you think you are weary, there can only be one reason. You are running from your HOPE!  It is in God, through God, and with God only we have the strength and HOPE for our days! It is in Him I have placed my hopes for my children. Him that carries my husband and I's hopes for our future.

This book is a beautiful place to start in your journey. It is the jumping off point to dive back into the presence of Jesus. At His feet will you learn. I loved being reminded where my HOPE was found.

You may purchase your own copy of this book, ebook or paperback, from

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Archery~Why not?

So we woke up yesterday morning, and decided an archery contest was in order. Why not?  We weighted down the target, as it was windy here in Oklahoma, and filled our kids up with sugary pastry goodness, then headed outside for loads of fun!

Everyone hanging out
Heath Jr.


Jeffie Jean

Paulee~She was a hoot!

Even babe, Mom, and Dad got in on the fun!
It was a blast. If we were keeping score, Dad won, with Mom in second and Daniel in third. But we have WAY more practice needed before it gets serious! And the kids learned what happens if you let the bow get too close to your face.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Laundry Soap

If you have been here in my little blog world, you know I make our laundry soap.  I have used a couple of different recipes, but they were the same. You needed a large 5 gallon bucket, 2 days worth of time, and could not make more until the bucket was completely empty. That meant there were at least two days I couldn't wash anything.  Or at least, that is how it worked for me, as I didn't have a second bucket.

So, I came across homemade laundry soap when looking through Pinterest one day. It's been sitting in my cleaning board for quite some time.  And now that I have a new (to me) washer in our new (to us, again) home, it was time to break out the new recipe. According to The White Silk Purse, this only costs $0.017, but you will have to read all the specifics over there.

Concentrated Laundry Soap

You will need:
2 bars of Fels Naptha
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda (NOT baking soda. Two distinct things)
6 cups hot water
Essential oils

Put 6 cups of water on to heat. It will almost boil by the time you are done. While the water is heating, grate the Fels Naptha.  Add the soap to the water that is heating, and stir frequently. This part takes 10 – 15 minutes. Keep stirring until the soap is completely melted. Be careful not to let your mixture boil over!

When the soap has melted turn off the heat and add the Borax and the Washing Soda. Again, do not confuse Washing Soda with baking soda. They are NOT the same.  You can find both Borax and Washing Soda in the laundry aisle.Stir and stir and stir. You will stir for about three minutes. The powders will dissolve into the liquid. Add a few drops of essential oils to scent your soap how you would like. I had tea tree oil and peppermint on hand, so I added 5 drops of each.

Pour the liquid equally into 4 quart jars. This was almost may favorite part. I didn't have enough of my new jars, so I pulled out some old mason jars Heath's grandmother gave me. Now, add just enough water to bring the contents up to the “shoulders” of the jar. This will leave about 1 ½ inches of head space. Put lids on the jars and let them sit overnight (about 8 hours).

The soap in the jars will separate while it is standing. This is OK. There will be firm soap on top and kind of gel-like soap on the bottom. Sometimes "crystals" form at the bottom of the jar, don't worry. This actually happens pretty quickly.

This next part is really quite fun. In the morning, take one of the jars and cut up the firm soap. I just stick a knife down into the jar and cut it up like a pie. Next, pour all of this into your mixing bowl of your stand mixer. There were a few crystals that stayed in the bottom, so I just swished a tiny bit of hot water around to loosen them up and poured them in the bowl as well. 

Start on the lowest speed of your blender or mixer and increase the speed gradually. Your result will be something that looks like really thick, pale yellow whipped cream. You may need to scrape the sides down with a spatula a few times to get it all the way blended/mixed. It looks much like butter by time you are done.

Pour/spoon the now blended soap back into the quart jars. Your jars will be all the way full now and you may even have a little more for another jar. In fact, I went from having 4 quarts to having 5 quarts. Pop a lid onto the jars and your soap will keep indefinitely. It gets a little firmer in the jar when it sits, but it stays spoonable.
It is supposed to take 1 tablespoon per load. I have a coffee measure that I am not sure of the measurement. And instead of testing it out, I just put two scoops in the wash.  The clothes are clean, but do not have any smell. I may have to work on a softener, as I really like my clothes to have a scent when I pull them out of my drawer.
Have fun trying this out!

Friday, September 14, 2012

What I learned the first week of school.

This week, we started our first week of school for the new school year.  It has been quite the adventure, with so many twists and turns. And while I am not proud of many of my moments, I was able to make it through the process with a new perspective, and have grown along the way.  I also have a few tidbits of truth to share.

#1. You are never prepared. I know this because, I prepped ALL summer, yet Sunday night was a basket case because I came up with at least a thousand more things I had to do before Monday morning. I was stressing out!! And might have found some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (that I SO should not have had) to help me through the evening. I was pretty sure, I was going to throw up before the next morning.

#2. Staying up late is bad. No really. For me, for the kids. It's just plain bad.  Making the kids stay up until 10 to finish Latin is NOT going to instill a love of the language, or for that matter,  really help your position in their heart either.  I proved my point. But then had to deal with crankies the entire next day. We won't say who was cranky, or mention the tears. *ahem

#3. Attitude reflects leadership. I gave a big thumbs up when that line was stated in "Remember the Titans". Now I am frowning and grumbling. 'Cause I am the leadership. Adulthood. Sometimes it stinks. However, I found out that if you throw a fit, you don't feel near as good afterwards as you thought you should. Don't ask how I know.

#4. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Our first two days of school were just plain rotten.  I am talking, we don't speak of them; I am trying to blot them from my memory.  We were rushed, had other appointments to keep, and the goofy teacher tried to get too much done for the first days back.  But each day, we got back on the proverbial horse, and went after it again. And by Friday?  We were smoothly finding a routine, getting things completed, and ENJOYING it. The lesson of perseverance that ole turtle teaches is really true!

#5. Usually, it's not the lessons that are most memorable. From everything that went on this week, we are not going to remember each lesson, each assignment. I'd like to say they will never forget what was taught, but ask me specifics about any grades first week of school, and I will stutter and stammer trying to recall. But we will remember two lost teeth, the feeling of accomplishment in tying ones shoe for the first time. The sense of self-worth when chores are completed, and the shared secrets as we giggle behind books and papers.

We have had better first weeks over the last 5 years, but this one is extra special. It began in a new chapter in our lives, a new house, a new beginning.  We are still trying to define who we are in this new direction, but we are doing it together.  It isn't all roses, life is ugly. But together, we are striving to etch out beautiful spots to remember, together with God.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Because I love her

I wanted to share with you a post from January of 2011.

This is me. In October that is. With my husband, Heath. I have very long hair.

I have had very long hair for a very long time. But I felt the need for change. And the desire to do something that was more than me. So, in honor of my cousin, Nichol, I cut my hair today. And donated it to an American Cancer Society sponsored organization. It will take my hair, and hair from others and will make a wig for some of the most beautiful people I know.

This is me. Today. 16 inches shorter. Because I love you, Nichol.
Tonight, Nichol is at home in a hospital bed, unresponsive to the world around her.  For seven years her mind, body, and spirit have fought this nasty disease we call cancer, and her time in the ring is coming to an end.  Her husband cannot fix this for her. Cannot make it all better. Her 14 yo and 9 yo daughters can only watch, knowing their hugs and kisses are only for their own benefit.  Her mother and sister have had their whole lives together with Nichol, and now, cannot follow her.  Each one of them, I am sure, would give anything for one last smile, one last hug, one last word. But there is nothing they can do, but wait.  I would shave off every hair on my head if it meant they could have that moment. They wait for God to come collect her. I pray they each find that He will fill the void that she will leave behind. I love you, Nichol.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Our School Plan for 2012-2013

We are starting our fifth full year of homeschooling this fall, and it is the first year I have everything pre-bought and nearly planned out for the WHOLE YEAR. I am a go with the flow type of person, but I have learned that if I don't have a plan, I will not get much taught. So I have been planning for a month!  We decided to wait until after we moved to start our book schooling, so our first day of school is September 10th. And honestly, it is a toss up as to who is more excited this year. My kids are excited about their courses!

The decision to bring our kids home was an emotional one.  And each day is still that way.  Homeschool is the most time intensive  and emotionally demanding task to date.  My husband and I were both public school attendees, and this is foriegn territory for us. But having our children by our sides, shaping them, molding them, watching them grow is beyond worth it.  It is a rich, rewarding blessing, and we are thankful for the opportunity.

So, without further ado, here is our curriculum for the school year.

Malcolm - Freshman

Math- Saxon Algebra II
Science-Apologia Biology
History-Veritas Press Omnibus II/Omnibus III
Writing-IEW Student Writing Intensive Combo Pack Level C
Latin-Memoria Press First Form Latin Year 1
Art-God and the History of Art
Bible-Apologia "Who is God?"
Character-Character First, Series 1

Jeffie Jean - 7th grade

Math- Saxon Algebra 1/2
Science- Apologia General Science
History-Veritas Press Omnibus I
Writing-IEW Student Writing Intensive Combo Pack Level B
Latin-Memoria Press First Form Latin Year 1
Art-God and the History of Art
Bible-Apologia What We Believe Series "Who is God?"
Character-Character First, Series 1

Daniel - 6th grade

Math-Saxon Algebra 7/6
Science-Apologia Zoology I with Journal
History-Veritas Press NT/Greece and Rome
Writing-IEW Student Writing Intensive Combo Pack Level B
Latin-Memoria Press First Form Latin Year 1
Art-God and the History of Art
Bible-Apologia What We Believe Series "Who is God?"
Character-Character First, Series 1

Heath Jr. - 4th grade

Math- Saxon Math 3/Saxon Math 5/4
Science-Apologia Zoology I with Journal
History-Veritas Press NT/Greece and Rome
Writing-IEW Student Writing Intensive Combo Pack Level A
Latin-Memoria Press First Form Latin Year 1
Art-God and the History of Art
Bible-Apologia What We Believe Series "Who is God?"
Character-Character First, Series 1

Terry - 1st grade

Math- Saxon Math 1
Science-Apologia Zoology I with Junior Journal
Writing-IEW PAL:Writing
Reading-IEW PAL:Reading
Bible-Apologia What We Believe Series "Who is God?"
Character-Character First, Series 1
General-My Father's World, First Grade

Paulee Rea - Kindergarten

Math-Saxon Math 1
Science-Apologia Zoology I with Junior Journal
Writing-IEW PAL:Writing
Reading- PAL:Reading
Bible-Apologia What We Believe Series "Who is God?"
Character-Character First, Series 1
General-My Father's World, First Grade

Anderson- Pre-school

Overall-My Father's World Kindergarten (maybe not everything)

Discovery- Hands on activities, signing, puzzles, etc.

Georgia Beth- Toddler

Toys- We have lots of school-time only toys
Discovery-Colors, shapes, puzzles, signing. Just fun stuff!

It looks like we are going to be very busy.  This is actually a pared down version of everything we liked and would love to do if we had more hours in the day. But the Lord gave us 24 hrs, and we will be diligent with those hours.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


HOLY SMOKES!! I'm in!  Our computer has been down for a few weeks.  It was fighting with my parents' Internet service, and losing.  So, we unplugged it, and have been using Mom and Dad's computer.  However, I somehow have been locked out of my blog since!  And on a whim tonight, I was checking it out, and VIOLA! 

Here is a quick update on us all.  After a short 9 month stay at my parents' house, we are moving to our own place! 

We were blessed to get into this home.  I have grown up dreaming of this house my entire life, and now, I get to live here, and care for this beautiful piece of history.  It was built in 1904 before Oklahoma was a state, and therefore a territorial home.  I love to just sit in the foyer and stroke the original hardwood floor!  Our children are thrilled to have an upstairs, and Heath is giddy as a school girl about the garage with shop space.  We are just so thankful for this new chapter.

And with the new chapter, brings new starts.  School will begin just after Labor Day in the Buster Household.  Along with it is a new chore system and new schedules for us all.  We have poorly adjusted to Heath's work schedule, and have been planning new ways to spend time with Dad, and work as a family unit, not just individuals.  We will have all new experiences in school. We will have our first High School student, and our second starting Junior High. We will also have a sixth grader and a fourth grader.  Rounding out the littles, we will have a first grader, Kindergartner, pre-schooler, and our Sweet Peach is only 2, so she will be Mom's helper.

Heath has been busy working, and now will be busy finding all our possessions that have been stored all this time.  I am busy cleaning (Oh how I loved cleaning all the wood in the house. And oh, how I am paying for it now), and have still been writing for The Homeschool Village.  I have many things to write about here, just will have to get through the crazy security this computer seems to have! :) But it is nice to share a little bit as I can, and will continue to update as I can! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Have you ever learned a new trick?  Well, crocheting is mine, and such a wonderful outlet, I have ran with it.  I crocheted my nephew dozens of hats, a pair of shoes, and even a tie.  We have crocheted dish clothes (made by my daughter and I), and a few scarves.  Everyone got a new hat for Christmas.  It's just been nice keeping my hands busy with something that doesn't take up tons of space or time! 

For the rest of the story, please join me at Today's Housewife.


Monday, July 9, 2012

My Faith is Old

I'm not really sure where to begin. It's been weeks since my last post, and I have no reason.  I am just so unorganized. Disheveled. Scatterbrained.  Maybe it's because all my belongings are packed up and willy-nilly stored in various places.  Possibly it is because my family of 10 is living with my gracious parents in their once spacious three bedroom home.  Or it could be that I get confused by the ever changing work schedule of my husband.  Bottom line?  I've lost my focus and am letting the distractions wear me down.

What do you do to bring it all back in?  I find myself shoving things into corners (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) and trying to ignore the clutter as it piles up.  It's not working for me though.  Honestly, I am feeling a little unraveled. But it is all so overwhelming, I think it is easier to hide.  However, as I stand in the one square foot of clean floor space of my room, I realize a blind eye is for the cowardly. I must face my predicament, own up to my irresponsibility; I just don't know where to start. No platitudes, no easy fixes, just me trying to find way.  Back to the productive, back to the purposeful, back to diligence.  It looks impossible from here, there is just so much to do.  So I suppose I need to figure out where to start. I think I'll start with a song.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Here is another Bible Curriculum I was able to review this year.  Again, it is a wonderful, in-depth look at the Bible, with lots of personal digging and work to learn the Bible for yourself.

From Bill Burtness, author, Judah Bible Curriculum:
"With the Judah Bible Curriculum, it is helpful to remind ourselves just what we are trying to accomplish in our study of the Scriptures. 
The primary product of our education is the character of our kids - Godly (loving), self-governing under God (responsible), self-educating before God (literate).  We want applying God's word to all of life to be second nature for our children.  As they understand the truth from the Scriptures, they will be able to discern what is false.  They will need this basis in truth as they grow up and finally leave the nest on their own.  So we are building our children's worldview and future. 
As we have seen, freedom in society is dependent on this Godly character, so we are also building future civilization as we train our children.  This is serious and actually does take some labor and some thought.  But it's not beyond us. (Deut. 6:4-12, I John 5:3)
These concepts and ideals were common thinking when America was founded and through much of our history, but in the last several generations they have not been taught and we have really lost it.  So we are floundering."


The main concepts for the study are:
The hand of God in History, The hand of God in the life of the individual, the importance of Godly Christian character, and learning the relationship between individual Christian character and national liberty.
The Judah Bible Curriculum also focuses on the intelligence of following God-which really appeals to me since many Christians today are made to feel less educated than their liberal neighbors.
A strong Bible focus and background is one of the main reasons we personally chose to homeschool, and with this curriculum I feel like we are finally going to be able to do just that. I have spent a long time studying this curriculum, as it is teacher-intensive.

There are key sheets to fill out, and you are encouraged to add maps, timelines, and essays as well. There is a PDF of example student work to help you see what a student notebook should look like. There is even a teacher walk-through that holds your hand!
The other great thing about this curriculum is it teaches your child how to extract information, not just answer questions. I really think this Bible curriculum is fabulous, and all ages can use this curriculum' K-adult.
Every year you will teach the main ideas and principles of the Bible, but the student will be studying different details. Judah Bible Curriculum calls these details Bible Keys and they include individuals, events, institutions, and documents. This allows you to design the daily study to fit your family with the doctrinal emphasis left to you. A summary of the Bible Keys you will study can be seen in the Scope and Sequence.
The Judah Bible Curriculum can be purchased as a download ($44.00) or hard copy ($69.00) and includes:
  • Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual or e-book
  • Elementary Notebook Ideas Booklet, download or view online
  • Eight-lecture Teacher Training Seminars on CD, download or listen online

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I have been absent lately.  Absent from this blog, and other things in my life.  Other than the occasional menu post or review, I just haven't been writing.  It has just been too hard, and I haven't had the gumption.

You see, we are a little topsy-turvy in our life right now.  Slightly over six months ago, God called us from the church He had led us to 4 years ago.  We packed up our entire life and moved home.  My parents, being the gracious people that they are, opened their home to us, and now 12 people are living under this one roof.

God saw fit to open a job up for Heath almost immediately.  The temporary holiday job has turned into a store manager position of a retail men's clothing store.  It seems far from the calling on our lives, but God is in control.  Heath works hard, and honors God with his diligence. 

Most days are spent juggling schedules, vehicles (we only had one until a few days ago), and routines.  Heath is only home 2 days a week, and usually gone before the kids are up and home after they are in bed. School has been sporadic, but is slowly evening out.  There is a constant need to pick up clutter and messes.  It just gets a little crowded if you let the piles of stuff stay more than a few hours.  There doesn't seem to be any down time, but that just keeps us working diligently unto the Lord, right?

There have been moments of stress, and a few meltdowns (we won't mention the names), but since faith is what pleases God (Hebrews 11:6), we carry on.  In fact, it is because of the faith given us by God we can carry on.  I will be honest, it isn't always easy.  In fact, there are times I just don't want to do what is right.  So I put my trust in the God of the Universe, and follow.

Join me over the next few posts as I share specifically how we are carrying on.  In our home, our school, our yard, my kitchen, and my craft room, I'll share how we are surviving, and how we are stepping it up to thriving! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

God's Great Covenant

Since we are a homeschooling family, I am often looking for "Bible" curriculum.  Sounds a little odd, huh?  You have the Bible, what more is needed?  And I usually approach teaching the Bible from a more pure aspect.  I don't need or want a curriculum to tell me or my children everything we are supposed to know. But I do keep my eyes out for something that will be a guide, helping up to dig the truth out for ourselves.


Classical Academic Press recently gave me the chance to review God's Great Covenant, New Testament 1~The Gospels.  I was a little unsure of the course when I first got it.  I received two large workbooks, and I made the assumption it was full of busy work. But I began to dig through it, and found out how wrong my assumption was!  This is truly a well thought out and well written plan to guide you in teaching your children!

The teacher's edition is just a reproduction of the children's book, but the margins are left open to fill with notes.  There are also key point notes from the publishers.  It honestly takes quite a bit of work to prep this course and get it ready to teach.  You cannot just pick up the teachers manual and read a paragraph to your students. You first must read, take notes, study, and learn the material for yourself. In other words, you get to STUDY YOUR BIBLE for the purpose of teaching your children the Words of God!
With most curriculums, you get a planning guideline, and teaching schedule.  And that has been something to which I am very accustom.  This course does not.  Other than being sectioned out into units and chapters in the units, it is up to you the teacher to plan when and what you will teach.  Part of me would really like some direction in planning, but, maybe this will be another way I can learn and grow as a teacher.  Once I get the hang of the schedule, I do believe I will look into buying the other courses in this series!

Happy looking!

I reiceved this product for the purpose of review. I was not given any instuction as to what to say. All opinions and writing are my own.  For more reviews, please see The Homeschool Crew Blog.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I See Sam

Having eight children living in one house can be very hard on books.  Most of our first readers are torn up, mangled, or even trashed.  I was thrilled to learn we would be getting some new ones from Academic Success.  It was a chance to bring some new books into the house that the littles could read, or soon read.
I was honestly a little disappointed when I opened the box of books.  These reminded me of the little readers my kids got when they were in public school. Not that those are bad, but they are little paper books, not something that holds up to multiple readers, or has a great shelf life.  But, we opened them up, and I give them out in small doses to the littles and let them read. 

They love them.  Terry and Paulee are both reading three letter words, or simple 4 letter words very well.  And these are books they can actually read.  However, the books start with words using long vowel sounds, and phonics concepts that are usually not taught until later in beginner reader curriculum.  I just told my two what the word or words were that they didn't know how to sound out yet, and they remembered it for the rest of the book. 
Terry and Paulee love reading a book to themselves.  Or even to their two younger siblings.  They like the questions at the back of the books we ask them, and enjoy being like the "big kids".  I liked that they are color coded, and well number for sequence. 

There are 8 different book set ranging from Kindergarten levels to third grade, and each set is $30.


I received this product for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own.  For other reviews, please visit the Homeschool Crew Blog.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Menu Plan for the Week of March 5th

This week brings more sickness to our house. I have had it as has Heath. And we were great parents and shared with our children. Two more woke up sick today, so that is four that have been sick, with four more to go. So today is full of movie watching, reading books, and cuddling when the headaches and fevers are just too much to bear alone.

But, amazingly enough, appetites have not diminished, so here is what we are eating this week for dinner!

Monday- Meatball Subs with side salads
Tuesday- Italian Chicken and rice
Wednesday- Egg Casserole with fruit
Thursday- Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps
Friday- Homemade Mac and Cheese
Saturday- Leftover Buffet
Sunday- Spaghetti with green beans and salad

The recipe for the subs is actually a burger recipe I think. But instead of making patties, I just use my small cookie scoop and make meatballs.  And you absolutely have to make the chicken wraps. We cannot seem to get enough of those! I'll post an original recipe next week, God willing, but this week, head on over to Organizing Junkie's Menu Planning Monday for more dinner ideas!

We are opening windows, airing out the house, and washing bedding. Hopefully we will be done with sick babies soon!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Reading Eggs

Over the course of this year we have learned an important lesson. Online schooling is just not for us.  From trying to find enough time for everyone to get screen time at the computer, to not having one-on-one face time, it just isn't for us.  However, there are good programs available for those who do enjoy learning from the computer. One of those programs is Reading Eggs.  It is an online program targeting 3-5 year olds to spark interest in reading through games stories and fun games.


Best is used with a parent, this is a cute place to learn and play. Reading Eggs also offers companion books and writing workbooks to go along with the program. These are optional, but reinforce each online lesson.

Age range:
Reading Eggs seems most suited for children ages 3-5, but their site says it can also be used to reinforce skills for older children. Reading Eggspress is also available for children ages 7-12
$75.00 for a full year
$49.95 for six months
or a $9.95 monthly subscription
There are three levels, with 40 lessons in each level.
You can also try Reading Eggs for free.


*** I received a subscription of this product in exchange for an honest review. You can see what the other TOS Review moms thought of Reading Eggs here.***

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu Plan for the Week of February 27th

Trying to get back to posting my menus.  I make them out every two weeks.  But I will just put a week at a time up here at the blog.  Of course, I am linking up with Organizing Junkie and her Menu Plan Mondays!

Monday- Stromboli with a side salad
Tuesday- Tex-Mex Beef Casserole and hominy
Wednesday- Daddy's Pancakes and Scrambled Eggs
Thursday- Jambalaya
Friday- Parmesan Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, and Green Beans
Saturday- Brown Beans and Cornbread
Sunday- Soft Tacos

For snacks this week we are having:

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
High Fiber Cereal Crunch

Cereal Crunch

2 cups wheat cereal squares
2 cups rice cereal squares
2 cups corn cereal squares
2 cups oat cereal squares
2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup silvered almonds
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup butter
1 cup pure honey

Line two shallow rimmed baking pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper; spray well with cooking spray. Mix together all the ingredients except the butter and honey in a large bowl.  Split the cereal mixture between the two pans.  In a glass measuring cup, microwave butter on high for 1 minute or until melted. Measure honey in same glass measure; whisk to combine.  Drizzle half of the butter mixture over each pan of cereal mixture; gently stir with spoon to coat cereal.  Bake at 325* for 30-35 minutes, or until coconut turns light golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.  Cool pans of crunch snack mix on wire racks. Break apart large pieces and store in an air tight container. Makes about 14 cups.

Have a great week eating!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Who Am I?"

This is by far the best review product to date. I couldn't be more excited to look through, teach through, and personally work through this particular curriculum.  Apologia had once again hit the ball out of the park.

Photobucket"Who Am I?" is the second volume in the new series, "What We Believe". The series is written by John Hay and David Webb. Each volume is written to be a student directed course, guiding your child to have a biblical worldview.  In this volume, the student is using the Scriptures as the lens to view Self-Image.

I have not began using this volume with my kids, solely because I want to take them through volume on, "Who Is God?", first.  But going through the book myself, I am in awe. Such clear cut writing, thought provoking questions, and real life application are just some of the reasons we will be using this curriculum.  From the textbook, to the amazing journal, and even the coloring book for younger children, each are a resource we can use individually and as a family corporately. 

Please visit Apologia to look through the three courses, and make a point to start this series.  As a family of 10 on one salary, it is a little difficult sometimes to purchase new curriculum, but this is well worth the price, and sacrifice to add to our families training and education.


I received this product for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are mine, and mine alone. For other reviews, please check out The Homeschool Crew Blog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012



What is ALEKS? ALEKS stands for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces. ALEKS is an online program that acts like a math tutor for children in grades 3-12. ALEKS uses artificial intelligence to adapt the questions to discover what a student knows and doesn't know. ALEKS then has a starting point in which to use to perfectly adapt math lessons for each individual student. As a student spends time on the ALEKS site, they will be periodically reassessed to make sure they are retaining what they've previously learned.

Once your child goes through the initial assessment, you can see something ALEKS calls "My Pie." It is divided up into sections and you can see the concepts your child already knows and the concepts they need to learn. From here you can click on the topics and work through the lessons.

This is a pretty decent online math supplement program.  However, it is not one that fits well with our family.  We just do not use online school programs well.  That being said, I could see how this would be a good product for families that need extra support in math, or for a student that needs extra practice.  It could also help find weaknesses in your child's current math curriculum, or gaps that they may have.

ALEKS is offering a two month trial offer so you can see for yourself if it is a program that matches your families needs!


I received a free trial of this product for the sole purpose of review. All opinions are mine.  For other reviews, please check out the Homeschool Crew Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine for you.

So, does anyone out there, NOT know it is Valentine's Day?  Today there isn't any sappy stories here. Obviously I am madly in love with my husband of 15 years, and our 8 precious blessings.  It is clear that my love for my parents runs deep and true.  And it's no secret that I fiercely love all whom I call family.  So what am I doing writing a post about this day of love?

Today, it is all about the homeschooling.  When we first started homeschooling 4 years ago, we were unsteady on our feet, and shaking with fear. While our convictions were strong, putting that faith to action was hard.  And the moment I "came out" and told my small little blogging world we were homeschooling, I was immediately welcomed into a family that acted like they were waiting just for me. 

There are days when I don't think I can manage another second. And within moments of posting my distress, I have multiple caped crusading friends flying in to encourage, support, and sometimes just laugh with (or is that at?) me.  Then there are the days that I am able to offer up suggestions to someone else. And they are accepted with thanks and grace.  It really is a wonderful community and family.  And I now have the joy of writing with a tremendous group of women as we share in our triumphs and tragedies that we call our life!

So today I send you a Valentine.  One that is heartfelt, prayed over, and given with multitudes of thanks. 

Oh, and eat a piece of chocolate for me, K?