Just in case

This isn’t really a meaningful blog post, more of a public service announcement.

As I’ve been going through my blog, I have found some really weird links a hacker put in some of my posts. They’re all different and link to products. If you read something that isn’t normal for my writing or there’s an obvious link that doesn’t belong, feel free to let me know via comment or email.

I am working to find all the links, and I’m pretty sure the hacker no longer has access.  But there were a lot of links stuck in my posts. And I apologize if there’s anything super inappropriate… haven’t come across anything yet, but wouldn’t put it past them!

—- have a blessed day!

 

 

Roar Like a Lion Family Devotional- enter to win!

You know our family loves a good devotional- every night at bedtime we read from the Bible, and/or a devotional, and often we read a from a book as well. The last few weeks we have been using Roar Like a Lion, from Tommy Nelson.

Roar like a Lion 90 Day Family Devotional

This 90 day devotional features eye catching art that isn’t too crazy or busy, with fascinating stories, Bible verses, and prayers to read aloud. Of course children can read it to themselves too, but it is so sweet to read as a family. =) Each devotion offers simple action steps for dealing with a problem with God’s help. Families will find prayers and idea that help them talk to God, grow a stronger  relationship with Him, and learn to walk closer with the Lord.

My children have enjoyed reading from this so far, and I find them talking about it later, even days later they will mention something we read or  prayed for together. I love that each devotional shows children of God’s faithfulness and love for his children.

What I really like? The topics are relevant to today’s kids in a BIG way. Manny of the popular phrases children see and hear are debunked as worldly sayings that don’t really fit in a Christian’s life- ex: you do you- They authors have taken that phrase and shown how that’s not how we are called to live as Christians. Just because it is popular doesn’t make it right.

Truth! I love that the truths are relevant to things children today deal with, but it’s done Biblically with everything pointing back to scripture and God.

Topics covered include:

  • facing fears in life
  • dealing with peer pressure
  • bullying
  • handling new challenges
  • dealing with disappointments
  • moving through grief
  • trying new things
  • courage
  • understanding that we do fit into God’s story, and how

This devotional is simple and sweet, but impactful. It has blessed our family and hopefully it will bless yours as well! Order yours now!

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

If you would like to enter to win a physical copy for your family, or a family you love, leave a comment below with your family’s favorite times spent together! This giveaway is limited to US winners only

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Reading Eggs and Math Seeds for Your Homeschool

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
Reading Eggs

I need to get the garden picked, and dishes done … and help with the animal chores. But first I want to tell you how much we have enjoyed Reading Eggs! This subscription includes both Reading Eggs and Math Seeds, their math program.

We have reviewed this interactive reading program before, and my children all enjoy it. This time I used it for the younger two, and they had so much fun. The program is suitable for children 3-13! Yes, you read that correctly- up to 13.
After farm chores, or school time I would let them each take a turn working through their level in the program. They enjoyed making their own little character, and working their way through the reading map.

Reading Eggs

I love that there is the option for desktop or an app for Reading Eggs and Math Seeds.

Students can (and should) take the placement test which is simple, and takes the guess work out of trying to find the just right level; the program does it for you! The placement test was right for both of my girls, with no problems. If your student is not familiar with using an online program/app (like my 5 year old) I would say help them with making the choices/moving the pieces during the placement teat, because that can obviously impact their level. But after a little practice of using the app, it becomes pretty intuitive for them.

My girls progressed well through their levels. I love that the added reading practice is fun for them; it helps on days when I may not have time to put together something fun for their practice, or we need a change up from the typical school day. My children usually get a little screen time after cleaning day is over, so Reading Eggs is great for that, too! They like having something new to try and I like that it is educational and helping with their foundational reading.

The parent’s screen for each child lets the parent know how that child is progressing, what they have read well, where there may be struggles for added practice purposes. There is even data for their growth in each area. This is great for anyone needing to give a district or state data, as well as just wanting to track progress for yourself.

Then there is Math Seeds! Math Seeds is an interactive math program for children ages 3-9 that helps them with problem solving and solidifying math skills. The structured lessons are fun and inviting for kids and easy for parents to set up. As you can see below, there are different areas to choose from in Math Seeds- after taking the placement test, students can begin lessons at their personalized level.

There are options for lots of fun games and skill building, test taking, spending points earned in the shop, and there is even a play room for children to explore. I remember doing some old school programs back in the 90s that had rooms like that- and I *loved* them. If your kids are anything like mine, they will love this! And you can rest knowing they are learning and spending time wisely.

Math Seeds

 

I think Reading Eggs and Math Seeds are great for foundation skills in both subjects; it is also a great supplement to your current schooling situation, whether at home or elsewhere.

Connect with Reading Eggs

Read more reviews from The Crew of Reading Eggs and Math Seeds by clicking the banner below:Learn to Read with Reading Eggs
Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Vindication Season 2, Streaming on Pure Flix Now!

Vindication Season 2 is now streaming on Pure Flix! If you haven’t already checked it out, Vindication is the fan favorite, faith based police drama starring Sergeant Travis. I really enjoyed season 1, and season 2 is turning out to be just as binge worthy.

Vindication is a great show for adults and teens. Each episode focuses on a storyline that always points back to God; a real life struggle leads right back to the Lord, and having a relationship with Him. I love that the police in this show are able to show God’s love though their job and how they relate to the victims and offenders. We see those struggling with their faith, those without faith at all come to the Lord, and Christians who grow further in their faith.

Season 2, episode 1 Precincts and Prisoners, is no exception to the great story lines and we saw in Season 1. Pure Flix released installments of the 10-episode season week by week, as this season dives a little deeper into the personal lives of our favorite characters, while introducing new storylines each episode. In this 31 minute first episode of Season 2, Srgt. Travis and his wife adapt to new roles in life as he investigates strange circumstances on a single mother’s property. We watch as the Sergeant and his team work to prove this young mother isn’t crazy, while showing the love of Christ when others only judge and ridicule her.

I love that we see the Lord working in real life situation through those who love Him.

Vindication stars Todd Terry as Gary Travis, Venus Monique as Detective Kris Tanner, and Peggy Schott as Becky Travis. There are a few other familiar faces in the episodes as well. New to the series for season 2 is T.C. Stallings, from films such as “War Room” and “Courageous.” Stallings portrays Detective Tre Millwood!

If you don’t already have Pure Flix, look into it so you can start streaming family- friendly shows, today!

There’s something for everyone in the family- No more searching for something everyone will enjoy.

Giveaway- enter for a chance to win 6 months of Pure Flix FREE! Simply leave a comment of a time the Lord showed up in an every day situation in your life, or the life of a loved on. Or feel free to leave the name of your favorite worship song right now.

Vindication Season 2

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Vindication- PureFlix Cop Drama

Pure Flix is a family friendly streaming service featuring shows your family can enjoy without fowl language, graphic scenes, or inappropriate content. Their fan-favorite cop drama, Vindication, is a great show for adults and teens.

Vindication on Pure Flix now!

Vindication is a faith-based police drama that connects families struggling with sin to law enforcement (specifically Sergeant Travis). The show gives viewers a look into all walks of life and covers topics such as temptation, parenting teens, drug addiction/relapse/recovery, money problems, misunderstanding others’ behaviors, autism, prostitution/human trafficking, and so much more.

Each episode focuses on a storyline that always comes back to God; each episode’s real life struggle leads right back to the Lord, and having a relationship with Him. I love that the police in this show are able to show God’s love though their job and how they relate to the victims and offenders. We see those struggling with their faith, those without faith at all come to the Lord, and Christians who grow further in their faith.

No matter the struggle characters face, there is always a message of redemption that is evident to viewers. Families may be torn a part or  lives in ruin, but the Lord always prevails.

Vindication stars Todd Terry as Gary Travis, Venus Monique as Detective Kris Tanner, and Peggy Schott as Becky Travis. There are a few other familiar faces in the episodes as well.

We are so looking forward to season 2! I can’t wait to get that review for yall, so you know what to look forward to. If you don’t already have Pure Flix, look into it today!

There’s something for everyone in the family- No more searching for something everyone will enjoy.

Connect with Vindication

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

WORLD Watch- Current Events for Homeschool Families with a Christian Worldview

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Whatever the News, the purpose of the Lord will stand

WORLD Watch is an unbiased daily news program for current events (mainstream and otherwise) for all busy homeschool families, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it in our home. WORLD Watch is an online subscription that brings the news in 10 minutes, and offers a Christian worldview we can trust. During lunch my kids ask to watch the news, and I know it is going to be something we can watch together and then have discussions about, with a meaningful impact.

WORLD Watch is real journalism, you know the kind that began dying off a few decades ago, and more recently has become extinct? They’ve done the ground work, they give real news from real research, and they’re real journalism I can trust.

I know when we turn on WORLD Watch we are going to have a quick and easy news show, with a little humor for the kids and a light hearted approach to the topics. Students/families learn about current events happening all over the world through biblically sound headlines, news briefs, and feature stories. They don’t skip over the important things-there are some deep topics… the current situation in Afghanistan for instance, the impact of communism in other countries, etc. But I love that the news anchors aren’t overly dramatic, scary, or leaving out important information.

My children can make up their own minds about what they see and hear on the news without fear mongering.; hey can practice discernment and critical thinking about what’s happening.

WORLD Watch News- a christian worldview

My children don’t come away from WORLD Watch with fear, anxiety, or someone else’s opinion. They have questions, their own opinions, and intelligent conversation. They love the humor the anchors throw in, and we enjoy that they connect current events to the Bible. This kind of news really puts our current world into perspective- it helps my children make connections between scripture and current events/discoveries without preaching. It is truly just facts and a lot of fun information.

The news given is age appropriate, without any political bias or opinions mixed in. My 11 year old says,

I love the funny parts at the end where he (the anchor) does funny things. The news they give us is always interesting, and I like talking about it afterwards.

I think this subscription is a great idea for families, especially if your children are 10+ and thus able to understand the news. I also think adults are going to enjoy getting the information without the mainstream media twist on everything, thus avoiding any truly false information. WORLD Watch is a great source (maybe one of the only sources) for non partisan journalism.

Wit WORLD Watch we can get our facts from a Christian worldview news channel (knowing there isn’t anything promoted my children shouldn’t see), and know we can trust it. That’s what I love about them!

 

WORLD Watch News- a christian worldview

 

Connect with WORLD Watch

 

Check out other reviews from The Crew by clicking the banner below: World News That Builds Biblical Discernment

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Frugally Feeding Farm Animals {supplementing goats}

originally Published on: Sep 7, 2018

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If you’re a naturally minded, homesteader or farm-girl wanna be like me, then you’re probably here to learn more about something you already love- saving money and caring for your animals.

There are definitely ways to frugally feed your farm animals, and I want to share what I have learned, with you. I have been learning as I go since we got our first chickens in 2011, and I’ve never looked back! This will be a series of several posts about how/what to feed farm animals while saving money and keeping them in top-health, as naturally as possible!

Weeds

If you have flowerbeds, there is nothing better to do with your weeds than feed them back to your animals!

Goats *love* weeds, as they are foragers, not grazers.

Goats eat some of the things cows do and most of the plants they don’t-trees, leaves, bark, roses, shrubs, poison ivy, and weeds to name a few of their favorites. Please be careful with shrubs and some weeds, as there are several plants toxic to goats that are commonly found in yards. Goats, when given a large variety, will often overlook toxic pants. But when given a wheel barrow full of treats, or when allowed to eat in a new area, they will likely eat anything they can get their mouths on.

About 6 weeks ago I weeded the back yard flowerbed, placing all the weeds in a wheelbarrow as I went. When I was done, I simply wheeled the weeds to the goat corral and let them go to town eating!

They loved the treat, climbing in the wheelbarrow, and oddly enough- left the grass I pulled! They devoured the weeds and pruned roses, but didn’t eat the lumps of grass. I should have known!

Trees

About once every 4-8weeks my husband will cut a dead or downed tree on the property and haul it into the goat paddock. The goats and the Dexters go crazy, climbing, eating leaves, and pulling off bark.

Another favorite is hedge apples that have fallen from the orange osage trees; I smash them (usually with a stomp of my boot) to make it easier for the goats to eat them. Did you know goats have oddly small mouth openings? It is very odd …

These are our favorite ways to supplement for our goats. We don’t typically give hand treats; the farm I bought my goats from made a great point- feeding treats outside of feed times can quickly turn your goats into rude, pushy, petting-zoo type goats. You know the ones where you can’t walk, move, or be near them without getting jumped on, pushed over, or head butted for food? Yea, those. We don’t want rude, pushy goats. We want sweet, docile, snuggle, “ooooh, someone looove on me,” goats.

We have given occasional watermelon rhines this summer, but not often (those usually go to the ducks and chickens).

 

Clearing Tree Lines

Our goats really enjoy clearing our tree lines, walking on a lead and clearing weeds around fences, the barn doors, the kids’ trampoline, the chicken coop … the list goes on! My husband set up some runners along our north tree line and the goats love going out there to eat weeds and clean it up for us.  They get poison ivy to munch on, among other yummy weeds, and we get some free weed eating done!

Homeschool 2021/2022 School Year Choices {5th, 3rd, 1st, and K}

This homeschool year, we are starting slowly. This is the first year we have taken a full blown summer break … we have done maybe a week’s worth of school since the end of May, and filled some time with lap books and other fun schooling activities. We’ve really taken off the majority of days for pool time (because I just can’t resist!), gardening time & family trips; and we have loved every minute of it!

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2021

Our main core as a family this year will be continuing through Sonlight Core D (Bible, History, and Read Alouds), which is American history. When we finish this core, we will move on to Core E, the second half of American history.  After doing several years of wold cultures and world history, we are very much savoring American history. I’d like to focus on President’s and state capitols this year. There are so many great read aloud, and readers for US History. Just not enough hours in the day for all the books!

I am also finishing reading through the P4/5 Core with my youngest 2. They will be K and 1st this year; they are less than 2 years a part, but one is a fall baby and one is summer, so they’re close in grade levels. We made the choice a long time ago to keep our fall babies back a grade (they don’t meet most cut offs anyway, and like many states we aren’t required to school until age 7). We are very happy with that decision; but I like them being the older in their “grade” for the purpose of Co-op, sports, and church activities. I will start Core A with them at naps and bedtime once they finish P 4/5.

Math- We will be using Christian Light Education for our math, as always. My kindergartener will be using their K2 books, and I hope this bridges the gap between K math and 1st grade math for her. I will probably add in Saxon K worksheets  for her as well. I think CLE K2 combined with some math games and a little Saxon K, will be a fine math foundation.

Science- I just haven’t made up my mind here. I really love Apologia’s science programs. We would do the Anatomy and Physiology  if we go with Apologia … we really need to complete the Sonlight Science for Core D *but* every time we go to do the science, my kids already know  everything we are discussing (thanks Wild Kratts), so I just feel blah continuing with it. I know I don’t have to finish it, but I hate to leave it incomplete; also, it isn’t only animals and biology. Core D Science covers lots of other fun topics, so I should just persevere.

We will also add in No Sweat Nature Study again. We have really enjoyed these classes, and are building some great nature journals.

Language Arts- My beginning readers (K and 1st) will be using AAR plus The Good and the Beautiful. My older 2 will continue with The Good and The Beautiful, in levels 3 and 5. This includes spelling, some phonics, grammar, some writing, and geography. The 1st grader is a great reader, so lessons with her are pretty smooth. The K wants to read so badly, and was killing all the CVC words we practiced on our Florida vacation (during snuggles in the morning). So we are looking forward to her reading this year.

We add in Explode the Code, and Wordly Wise to our language arts. My children love both of these, and it does improve their skills, along with giving extra handwriting practice. I like them because of all this, plus they provide independent work for my children; so while I work with one student on language arts or math, the others have some independent work that keeps them on task.

Handwriting- We begin with Handwriting Without Tears, and after the PreK and K books, we move on to A Reason For Handwriting book K and then A. I like giving my children lots of good handwriting practice. They usually fly through both K books, but then Book A isn’t as difficult and they’re better readers by then, making the copywork easier. My 3rd grader is in their first cursive book. My 5th grader has done so many handwriting copyworb books, and she likes them so much. This year I got her the Memoria Press cursive book … I think it is a poetry copywork.

Extras- We are doing logic this year, with some workbooks I found on Rainbow Resource. They do problems logic in their math, but this is just extra practice; my husband wanted to be sure they were hitting logic, so we are going to try it this year.

My 5th grader is doing French from Memoria Press, which she is sooo excited about. I think I couldn’t given it to her for her birthday and she’s been just as excited. We are adding in some new sets of Brain Quest for fun, Fandex Presidents and States, and Kanoodle for a little brain teaser game.

We are using the Answers For Kids boxed set for our Bible discussions, along with the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes added to our morning basket time.

We are praying over our homeschool year that each step taken is led by the Lord, and that our words glorify Him. I am truly grateful for the blessing of our homeschool journey, even during the hard days (especially) or mornings when life feels heavy, I know the relationships we are building are worth it. At the end of the day, the math and reading, and science topics don’t save my children. Jesus does. And while we love learning (just one reason we homeschool), learning to love each other and serve one another on really hard days, is maybe one of the best things I can give my children. Or at least show them day in and day out.

I hope yall found this helpful. If you have any questions about what we do, or why/how we do it, let me know and I can go more in depth for you!

Are yall ready for the school year? Or school week? Or school semester/term?  You’ve got this mamas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Not Back to {Home}school-first day memories

August 16 was our first day “back to homeschool”, but it looked nothing like what most people would consider a school day. The joy of homeschool?- it doesn’t have to! We spent the day finishing the de-stemming process of this year’s elderberries, and then turned them into elderberry syrup.( I can share that recipe, soon!)

I’m not a super fun crafty mama that makes all the fun things, or plans events for the first day of homeschool.

Like most things we do around here- we try to keep it simple. We have a homestead, and there is a lot to get done this time of year (which is also why I usually school year round and take a short break in August for harvesting. But this year was just a bit different).

Most years we enjoy box day a week or 2 before school begins- this is the day that we open all our homeschool orders, and peruse the books, games, and curricula we will explore together for the next year.

Homeschool Box Day 2021

Then I get everything organized and put away for our first day. This includes organizing our Sonlight core books, tearing apart workbooks to be organized by weeks, and making everyone’s laminated weekly routines so they know what to cover each day.

The first day of our routine is usually just a school day. Our box day gets my kids pretty excited for the new school year, so we don’t typically have problems starting our homeschool days. But there are always small growing pains (mostly for me) as we get the routine down, especially on years we add a new student to the mix.

We have a rhythm that works well most days:

  • 530/600 Mama has coffee and Jesus time cause this gig requires a lot of Jesus 😉
  • 700 everyone out of bed- bedroom & farm chores
  • 730 breakfast and get baby up
  • Then I walk (or workout) while the kids play first thing, or do something farm related like massage a goat’s bloated rumen until she is better, or put up tomatoes for the freezer because they’re everywhere, or chase cows down because they escaped.
  • Then we all meet back for morning basket together
  • From there we move to table work
  • after that is lunch (usually about 1130/12:00)

Morning basket can take us a while, we do a lot of reading. Like. A lot. But that’s just how we roll; we love books and our core curriculum is literature based, so it just takes a while to get through it all. My kids color while we read and they could sit for hours to listen and discuss, I think.

This year our first “homeschool routine day” was on a Tuesday, so we met daddy for Taco Tuesday after work, and took our first day of school pics with nice clothes on 😆 normally it would just be pajamas…

We are all excited for the school year, learning new things, and reading all the books! The Kindergartener is especially enthusiastic for the start of her first real school year.

What is your first day of homeschool tradition(s)?




 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Archer and Zowie by Hans Bluedorn

Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew

My children have been reading  Archer and Zowie, written by Hans Bluedorn for fun the last few weeks. This is a fanciful story of friendship written in the humorous style in which the author also wrote The Fallacy Detective (see the Crew link for more reviews on his works). This is a 234 page, paperback book with fun black and white illustrations and a lot of imagination! It held up through a lot of reading and toting around with a sturdy binding and easy to read pages. *If you have a child who is easily intimidated by many small words on the page, this is a great fit for them. The print is large and the pages are not overwhelming*

When their mischievousness leaves them with a failed experiemnt and a broken microwave, best friends Archer and Zowie discover their microwave can now do mysterious things- all of which send them on an adventure to space via the Hungry Caterpillar, with penguin aliens, the author, and much more.Archer and Zowie

 

My children who read this book are 10 and 8; it is science fiction for middle grade students … I’d say the tween age (8-12) will probably enjoy it most. My 8 year old son thought it was pretty funny; he read it in a matter of days. I think this can be attributed to the world building the boys get to experience, and the silliness of the writing style. My kids found parts of the book extra silly, something that stuck out to my 8 year old,

I liked how they explained about trash day. They thought on trash day (like our cleaning day when we throw out things while cleaning), that you just never see your trash again, they thought it was a giant beetle thing that took the trash away. But they find out  on another planet that trash day is once a year, and they shoot all the trash into outer space and it makes a ring around the planet; which is sad. They were good friends and helpful to one another.

On their imaginary adventure the boys learn more about the world around them, about their differences, and to be better friends because of it all. There is mild potty talk that my kids pointed out (I wondered what they would say) because we don’t use potty talk in our home, but I will say it is mostly harmless and not something that is a main theme in the book.

The life lessons learned are pretty profound even if children don’t realize it, and the boys really learn a lot about themselves and one another on their journey. It helps them to become better friends and understand life a little more. Isn’t that what childhood is about?- learning about yourself, learning to love others, and learning about the world around you, all while playing pretend in your backyard?

Archer and Zowie

This turned out to be a really cute read that my kids enjoyed, and I liked the lessons learned along the way.

Connect with Hans Blyedon

 

Click the banner below to read more reviews of Hans Bluedorn’s other works, as well as more about Archie and Zowie:
Hans Bluedorn Brings us Fallacy Detective and Archer & Zowie

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

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