Thursday, June 30, 2011

God's Beautiful Sky

I just wanted to share some pictures I took the other day.

God's creations are so beautiful!







Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Marvels of Creation - Breathtaking Birds

Marvels of Creation: Breathtaking BirdsA couple of weeks ago I received a book in the mail called Marvels of Creation, Breathtaking Birds.

This is a beautiful, glossy, hardcover book written by Buddy and Kay Davis.

This book is different from your usual animal/nature book because it was created to glorify God as well as teach you about Gods creation...Birds.

The introduction is so amazing. It actually gives you Bible verses, and scientific evidence to refute evolution.

Your child will go into this book knowing that these birds are God's creations.

Your child will learn about 30 different birds such as the Arctic Tern, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, the Emperor Penguin, the Great Blue Heron, and many others.

Each description is one full page accompanied by a full page picture. The pictures are really nice.

There is a section in the back of the book called Intelligent Design which goes into the scientific details of how a bird is made, the different parts of a bird, the bird's circulatory system, etc.

This is a great book to have on your shelf to teach your children about birds.

It teaches your child that God created the birds, and it has the scientific details to make it very educational.

It would be great for a unit study.

I absolutely recommend this book.

I did some research and there are more books in this series! YAY! I will be collecting this series, and getting rid of some of my other nature books that do not acknowledge God as their creator.

I love this series!

So, if you are looking for a book/series that will teach your children about nature in a biblical way, this is the book/series for you. 

Disclaimer: I have received this book from New Leaf Publishing Group in return for an honest review. No other compensation has been given to me. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaching Boys

About a week ago I was doing school with my 6 year old son, and I learned a big lesson about teaching boys.

We were doing his reading lessons. PAL (Primary Arts of Language, from IEW)

With this program your child learns a lot of helpers, such as ee, ow, er, ck, etc...

Anyhow, he has a poem that correlates to his lessons, and in this poem he was supposed to find all of the helpers he has learned so far.

Well, he had been doing this for a while, and he hadn't found them all, so I gently reminded him of one of the helpers...HUGE MISTAKE!

He was so upset. He began crying and he got up from the table and yelled "You ruined it! This was supposed to be a challenge, but you told me the answer, and now it is ruined. I don't like this program anymore!"

Well, I was shocked to say the least, and really quite upset that he was acting this way.

I told him if he did not stop acting like that, he would be in trouble.

But then I got to thinking, yes he shouldn't have got so angry and yelled at me, BUT, he wasn't actually trying to be mean to me on purpose.

He was very upset. I ruined it for him.

I didn't realize how seriously he was taking this. He was looking at it as a challenge.

And I took the challenge out of it by telling him the answers. (sigh)

I recalled Andrew Pudewa's talk Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather be Making Forts all Day. 



I remember him saying that boys look at things so differently. That they look at everything as a challenge.

He was also talking about how boys like to put action into whatever they are doing. This is so true.

I learned a big lesson about teaching my son. Make things seem like a challenge, and he will want to do them. Even if it is something like finding helpers in a poem.

If I didn't let him look at it like a challenge, he probably would find it boring, and not want to do it.

Another lesson learned...DON'T tell boys the answers unless they ask you first! lol

Teaching boys is sometimes a challenge, but boys are oh so sweet, aren't they?

Do you have any tips for teaching boys?

Remember to enjoy this time with them, as they grow up so fast, and we will surely miss those days of teaching them.

I know it is difficult sometimes, even with girls, but I want to encourage you to stay strong, and try not to get too stressed out about teaching your children.

God called you to do this, and He will grant you the strength to do it as well.

Now go give your boys a challenge!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Vintage Healthy Home - A good week

Well, I have done much better this week,a nd have actually managed to drop a few pounds. Now, if I can just keep it up. 
I have not had pop, well, one sprite, or caffeine this week. I did manage to work out once this week, but the rest of the week I wasn't feeling well. Probably part of the reason I lost a few pounds. I am feeling much better now. 

Now that my stomach has shrunk, I hope to keep it that way, and be careful of my portion control. 

My goal is to keep up with the healthy eating, and workout at least 3 times a week from now on. 

I plan on trying to get a workout in today as well. 

I do hope that each week I will have more good news to share. 


This post is linked up with The Vintage Healthy Home.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

PAL-Primary Arts of Learning-Reading-Lessons 1-5


We have been working our way through Primary Arts of Learning (PAL), and I know a lot you are wondering if this program would work for you, so I thought I would share what it has been like for us, and how we are liking it so far.

As the parent you will be using the Teachers Manual each day. This lays out for you exactly what you need to do. 


Normally I don't care for Teachers Manuals. They never lay anything out the way I would, and I rarely use them. 

This one however is perfect. 


It doesn't have a bunch of unnecessary stuff, or useless tips.

Each day starts off with a poem. 


The first day you only read the poem. Each subsequent day, you read the poem and then practice some of the stuff you have been learning. 

You can see here that my son has underlined the ee helpers. (The Squeally-e's)
We also took the word Asters, and discussed what it would do to the word if we took away the s, and what it does to words when we add an s.

You use the same poem for many lessons. 

Next on the lesson plan is to make up the needed folder games. You could do this each day with your child, or you could have them already made up. Whatever works best for you. 



The first game your child is introduced to is Letter Stories
Your child will learn a letter story for each letter to help them remember their sounds. 

For example, a is the angry letter because the boys often pull her hair and make her say aaa.

The second game your child will be introduced to is MUGS.
This is my son's favorite game so far. 


In this game your child will feed Mugs his bones. As they pick up a bone they say the sound of the letter on the bone, and if they get it right, they get to feed it to Mugs!

You will be adding to these games for a while. Each day, in the early days, you will be adding pieces to the already made up games, and adding in new games.

The more your child plays a game, them more repetition he will get. Jill says that a child needs to come in contact with something about 55 times before he really knows it. 

These games will give your child plenty of practice. And it will be fun. Much more so than simply filling out worksheets every day. 

You will also be introducing whole words as well in this program. 

That is part of what makes this program unique. It blends phonics and sight words into one program. 

The first sight words your child is taught are his colors. 


They practice reading their color words in the game Color Palette


They place the words on the correct color. (Sorry, I didn't put the words on there for the picture.)

 They are also taught This, is, and a early on.

Two other games that we have played so far are Letter Parking Lot, and Beginning Consonants 1. 


In Letter Parking Lot your child will lean about vowels and consonants, and will put them in their proper parking spots. 


In Beginning Consonants 1, your child will match the beginning sound letter to the correct pictures. 

You can let your child color these games, or you can leave them blank. 

After you have learned your sounds, helpers, and sight words for the day, your child gets to put stickers on his farm. 

My son loves this part. 


They get to put all of their helpers on their farm. I think this is very sweet. 

At the end of the day you get to take a farm tour, and go over what you have put on your farm so far. 

This is a great review. 

One of the last things you do in each lesson is what they call the agenda. 

There are student work pages that your child will do each day, and there are also reading practice pages. 

These are some of the pages we have done so far. 


They reinforce what your child has been learning in his lessons. 

There are 80 lessons in total. 

How long this program will take you really depends on long you take to do a lesson. 

We take 2-3 days per lesson, but that is because we are really busy around the house right now. 

I do think a lesson could be done in one day however. 

I think it would also depend on the age of the child. Some children may need more practice in one area before they move on. 

There is no time table. Move at your child's pace. 

It also may take you longer if you are doing the writing portion of the program as well. 

I did not get the writing portion, as we already had a handwriting program, and I wasn't sure if my son was ready for spelling, but after watching the webinar about PAL, I wish I would have gotten both parts.

I am hoping to be able to do so soon. 

I have been looking for a good reading program for a while now, and I never bought one until I found PAL.

I thought it looked like it would really work, and would also be fun.

It is really important to me that is fun.

We had been doing Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and while it may work, it is boring.

My 6 year old son loves PAL, and that is the biggest recommendation I can give.

I hope this helps to give you a better idea of how this program works.

This is by no means a fully detailed description of the program, and we are only on lesson 5, but I know there are many of you out there that are wondering what this new reading program is all about, and I am glad to share what I can.

If you have any other questions about PAL, please ask me, and I will see if I can get you an answer.

Let me know if you decide to try PAL with your kids!




Our family purchased this on our own. This was not given to us in exchange for a review. I am not receiving any type of compensation for writing this review.

The Mystery of History Timeline

The other day I told you that we had finally finished MOH 1. Whoo Hoo!

So, I wanted to show you my daughters timeline that she has worked so hard on the last couple of years.


MOH recommends using a sewing board, and we started with one, but then decided that we liked this better. We like it to be able to stand on it's own, and you can get boards in pretty colors too!

My daughter loves to decorate things, and this was no exception.

She has it edged in ribbon, covered the back in contact paper, and really decorated the header on the top.

She actually did both sides, so you can switch it around if you like.



Here is a close up of the middle of the board so you can see the figures better.


On one part of the timeline we separated the prophets into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.


Making the timeline was our favorite part of The Mystery of History. We had such fun putting it together.

My 6 year old was looking at it the other day, and he was asking all kinds of questions about who the people were, and what did they do. So, I think even he will learn from it.

I am not sure that we want to do MOH 2, but I am considering it so that we can continue with the timelines.

Here is one last look at her timeline with the other side of the header on top.


When we are done looking at the timeline, all we do is tie a bow around it with a ribbon, and it folds up very thin.


You can put it in a closet, under a bed, or behind a dresser. It is very easy to store.

I hope you liked seeing our timeline. I don't know why the pictures didn't come out that clear. I hope that you get some ideas though, and that you may be inspired to make a timeline of your own!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fit Mommy Friday!

Hey everyone. It has been a while since I have participated in FMF. SO long in fact that it is no longer even called FMF! HA

It has been changed to Vintage Healthy Home. This is so that we can post about all health related aspects, rather than just fitness.

So, that will be cool. I may be adding some fun recipes soon!

Well, I have been doing pretty good with my eating and activity, but this last week, as I was hormonal, it all went out the window. sigh

I am so tired of losing a little, but then just gaining it right back. So tired of it.

Well, I don't have a lot to say this week as I have messed up royally this week, but hopefully next week will be much brighter! See ya then.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Mystery of History Volume 1 - Finally Finished!

The Mystery of History Vol 1
 

Whew! We are finally done with MOH 1.

We have been doing this same volume for years. I know it is designed to be done in one year, but we would get tired of doing it, and move on to something else for a while, and then come back to it.

We have done this for  years now!

OH, I am so glad to have actually completed it.

We are putting the final touches on the timeline right now. I will be sure to post pictures of our timeline soon!

We have actually enjoyed MOH, but we just get tired of doing the same thing for too long at a time.

I don't know if we will do the second volume or not.


I have really come to like doing history with real books, and Unit Studies.

We may pick up volume 2 at some point, but I think we will do something else for a bit.

I do like the short lessons though, and the notebooking. sigh

It is so hard to decide whether or not we want to do the second volume.

I think, at least for a while, we are gonna get back to the Unit Study we started a while back. The Revolution. We were really enjoying it, but then wanted to finish MOH.

Yeah, maybe we should learn to stick with something, huh?

Anyhow, we finished! Whoo-Hoo!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Voices of the Faithful Book 2

 http://booksneeze.com/art/_240_360_Book.296.cover.jpg

Voices of the Faithful is a Devotional series full of "inspiring stories of courage from Christians around the world. "

I had the opportunity to review book 2 of the series. This book is not like your typical devotional.

Instead of a daily reading of the Bible, you will be reading amazing missionary stories.

With an introduction by Beth Moore, and a daily Bible verse and prayer, you will find yourself being inspired each and every day.

I have never really been a devotional type of person, but this is such a great book. I look at it more like a good book, rather than a devotional. I will sit and read several days worth at once.

If you are looking for a really inspiring devotional, I highly recommend this book.


I received this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation has been give to me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lightning - Nature's Fertilizer

YS_71506_107.jpgI have been watering sod three...times...a...day... for about a week now. Yeah, not the funnest thing I've ever done. But it is making the backyard look better!

I hadn't been noticing much green growth in the sod until one morning I went out and saw that a lot had grown since the day before.

It had rained, so I mentioned to my husband that the rain really must have done a lot of good.

He told me it was more the lightning than the rain.

I had never heard of this before, but I was intrigued, so I did some research.

It seems as if lightning really is a great fertilizer!

Apparently our air is a mix of Nitrogen, Oxygen, and a little Hydrogen, with Nitrogen being the highest concentration.

When lightning strikes it breaks these molecules into individual atoms, that are then able to mix with other molecules, that then combine with the rain, taking them straight to the ground.

OK, I know there is much more to it than this, but I don't care to know all of the details. lol

Anyhow, lightning is great for your plants, and I will now look at lightning very differently from now on.

Lightning is Gods free fertilizer. He sure knows what He is doing doesn't He?

So, bring on the storms, just please leave the tornado's behind!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

2010/2011 Blue Ribbon Awards!

It has been an amazing year with the TOS Hoeschool Crew. We have reviewed some awesome products this year, and some of them have won TOS's Blue Ribbon awards!

I want to share the results with you too!

I reviewed some of these products, and I will place a link to my reviews of a particular product next to the Crew link.

Have fun checking out all of these great homeschool products.


Favorite Language Arts Product => Institute For Excellence in Writing (IEW)  

MY REVIEW 

Favorite Social Studies Product => Bright Ideas Press-Wondermaps

Favorite Science Product => Eagle’s Wings-Considering God’s Creation

Favorite Math Product => I See Cards-Pyramath

MY REVIEW

Favorite Online Math Product => Ten Marks

MY REVIEW

Favorite Writing Product => Writing Tales

Favorite Reading Instruction Product => Talking Fingers

MY REVIEW #1
MY REVIEW #2

Favorite Foreign Language Product => Classical Academic Press

Favorite Fine Arts Product (art, music, etc.) => Artistic Pursuits

MY REVIEW

Favorite Preschool Product => Go Go Kabongo

Favorite Elementary Product => Speekee

MY REVIEW

Favorite Upper Grade Product => Vocab Ahead

Favorite Special Needs Product => See-N-Read

MY REVIEW

Favorite Christian Education Product => Apologia
 
Best Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed => Lanschool Technologies

Best Customer Service => Peterson Directed Handwriting

MY REVIEW

Best Online Resource => Big IQ Kids

Best e-product => Zeezok Publishing-ZGuide to the Movies

Best Technology Resource => Collectorz

Best Homeschool Resource => Yesterday’s Classics

MY REVIEW

Best Book, Novel or Magazine => Zoe & Sozo Publishing-Foundlings

Best Children’s Book => Kregel Publications-Circle C Beginnings

MY REVIEW

Best Hands-On Resource => Corps of Re-Discovery

MY REVIEW

Most Adaptable Resource => The Write Foundation

Most Unique Resource => GoTrybe

MY REVIEW

Most Family-Oriented Product => Growing Healthy Homes-Nutrition 101

MY REVIEW


Kid’s Choice => Schleich Action Figures

MY REVIEW

All Around Crew Favorite => Institute For Excellence in Writing

MY REVIEW, AND ALSO MY FAVORITE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR!

Each winning vendor has received this wonderful award to display with pride:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Glimpse into the Future

 religious wedding


Yesterday I saw first hand what happens to a marriage when both parents are not on the same track, parenting wise.

I realized what happens when a woman steps outside of her biblical role, and tries to control her husband.

It made me so sad. Sad for the husband, sad for their marriage, and sad for my family because I see myself doing the same things.

I have studied the Bible, and many great Christian marriage books, and I know that a marriage can never be as good as God intends it to be if we are stepping out of our God given roles.

I know so many of us look at a woman's role in marriage as an awful thing, but it really isn't.

Yes, it is hard sometimes to submit to your husband when you don't agree with something he says, but we must remember that scripture tells us to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord.

We are not really submitting to our husbands for their sakes, as much as we are for the Lord.

We must remember that. You may feel like your husband doesn't deserve it, or that he doesn't make the right decisions, but you are submitting as unto the Lord.

We must still do the right thing. Even if he is not. We can't make excuses for ourselves.

I have had a lot of personal experience in this area.

Years ago I read a book called The Surrendered wife. This book changed my life.

I began to understand what God was asking of me in my marriage, not just what my husband asked of me.

When I first began to follow the advice in this book, it was hard. I had to keep my mouth shut, even when my husband said something that wasn't very nice.

One thing in particular that really bothered me was that my husband slept so late, and never wanted to get up and do anything.

Of course, I thought the best way to handle this was to yell, gripe, try to make him feel bad about about it, etc.

Of course it didn't work. lol

After reading this book, I decided to stop saying anything about it.

I decided that I would just be happy when he did wake up, and stop giving him a hard time about sleeping so late.

I can not believe the difference that it made! It was no time at all, a couple of weeks I think, before he was getting up early, and taking us out of the house to do fun activities together as a family.

I couldn't believe it. He must have not wanted to get up and face the crap I was giving him. Who could blame him really?

I have seen so many of this type of thing happen in our marriage. But it all started with me.

My husband was responding to my actions. Now, yes, I know he is still ultimately responsible for his own actions, but it really does make a huge difference when you are being the godly wife you are called to be.

You know how many ugly things the Bible says about living with a nagging wife.

I don't want to be that nagging wife.

I saw how much it can affect a marriage, even after the kids are grown, when you try to overstep what your husband says.

He is ultimately responsible for the whole family, and as hard as it is for us to submit, it is even harder for him to have all of that responsibility on his shoulders. 

I want to try to make that easier on him, instead of harder, like I have been doing lately.

I know it is hard for us moms to submit to what our husbands ask when we don't agree with him.

But think about this. What will be worse? You going ahead and being on the same page with your husband, even if you don't fully agree? Or letting the kids see that you and their dad are in disagreement, and letting them pull the two of you apart?

I honestly think that you are better off siding together, and then if you really don't agree with something, talking to him in private and praying about it, rather than letting the kids see that you can be divided.

I know we all have different circumstances, but I urge you to take a look at your marriage and see where you can improve, and I bet you will see improvement in other areas too.

I also wanted to mention a couple of other books that I have read that I really found helpful.

Daughters of Sarah
Created to be His Help Meet

Now, I don't think I agreed with everything in these books 100%, and you may not either, but they are still very much worth reading.

Let me know how things go when you try to implement what God puts on your heart.

Blog Redo

I just redid my blog for Winter. What do you think?