Friday, September 21, 2018

I'm Still Here

Wow, I can't believe that it is almost October. I still haven't put up my 2018-2019 school curriculum or really put a lot of content into my blog lately.

I find the older my kids get the less time I have or maybe I'm not managing my time as well. Who knows maybe it's a bit of both.

I find homeschooling middle and high school doesn't inspire me as much with posting. I'm still learning the ropes with highschool and the whole transcripts and changing my record keeping style. I was pretty organized before my daughter hit highschool with records. I just didn't keep track of grading. I would grade the paper and file them away quickly. Now, I insert the grades to keep track of them and the GPA. I have been using Homeschool Manager and I love it for figuring out final grades and the GPA. I can adjust the grading to my grading scale. It even keeps attendance and I can print out each week's schedule. I also make a book reading list and volunteer hours through Homeschool Manager. It's the easiest homeschool tracker program I have used so far. It does take time inputting the information into it. That's a given with any homeschool tracking program.

I use the  HSLD transcript service that is offered on their site. Even through the Homeschool Manager does have the transcript printout  I prefer to go through the HSLD but, all the information is figured out for me and all I have to do is input the information at the end of the school year for Bug. I actually have already transitioned in keeping records for my middle school minus the transcript. That way it's easier for me next year.

Some days I miss the crafts and lapbooks. My kiddos are growing up so fast Little Man is not so little anymore and is almost 13 and Bug is almost 16. Both kids are now the same height as me. Pretty soon they will be taller than me! It seemed to happen overnight and I'll have to bend my neck to look up to them!

When my kids were younger they wanted me to take pictures to blog about even without me suggesting it. Now I get a, "really mom do you have to take a picture of me for the blog?" Sigh!

All the kids are still in 4-H and we just finished our 4-H year with the State Fair. Bug last year won at state for her entomology project. It was a big deal being a state winner for her Kansas Award Portfollio for her and she put a lot of work into it. I'll try to post a picture of it soon. 

Little Man is an excellent photographer but, I'm a bit bias. His photo made it into the Kansas 4-H calendar. He surprises me with his photos and what he comes up with. He's more of a wildlife and landscape photographer and has a keen eye for things when taking pictures. He helps his sister out a lot in photography and because of his help she has been doing well in the project.

Bug only has 2 appointments a week instead of 7. Thank goodness as I don't know how I did it before. 

We love living in our small town. It has been a great move for our family. We are only 30 minutes from Wichita and most of our appointments are on the east side which makes our commute 45 minutes. When I go into town weekly I plan for a whole day to get other errands done.

I plan on trying to blog more this year. Reviews keep me busy with what spare time I do have. I guess we will see how that pans out with blogging. 

God bless y'all.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice Coloring Book Review

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If you celebrate all things fall, this book is for you. Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Coloring Book includes gorgeous illustrations featuring your favorite images of autumn. This one-of-a-kind adult coloring book has classic fall quotes, fun sayings, and Bible verses featured alongside detailed coloring pages.

 If you rush to Starbucks at the first hint of cool weather . . . If Pumpkin Spice Latte is your fall drink of choice . . . If you need a way to recover from a busy summer and take a breath before a busy holiday season, this book is for you. Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Coloring Book includes gorgeous illustrations featuring your favorite images of autumn. This one-of-a-kind adult coloring book has classic fall quotes, fun sayings, and Bible verses featured alongside detailed coloring pages.

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Coloring Book offers hours of enjoyment and reflection and makes the perfect gift for anyone who loves fall.

So settle in by a crackling fire for an evening of relaxation, rest, and pumpkin spice!

My Thoughts:

I love everything about fall. I love the cool air and colors of the fall leaves.  I love the smell of pumpkin, cinnamon, and apples. I’m ready to go apple picking!

I’ve reviewed a lot of coloring books lately but, this one by far has been my all time favorite. I love the illustrations and the theme of the coloring books.


There are ninety-six pages throughout this book. The pages are thick and work well with the color medium of your choice. The pages are perforated for you to take out of it.


There are lots of trees to color to add a fall touch to them. I love all the pumpkins, landscapes, baked goods, lots of nature, and so many gorgeous pictures. All the fall quotes and scripture throughout are beautifully done.


I’m longing for fall. Now I just need more time to color more.

This is a wonderful coloring book that would make a wonderful gift. Just make sure you buy one for  yourself too.

 I received a free copy of this product from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

By the Way Book Series: Ireland Review

Last year I had an opportunity to review a book from the By the Way Book Series. It was a huge hit with my kids. When I seen another review opportunity for By the Way  I already knew that Ireland was the next book I wanted to share with my kids. My maiden name is Irish and several years ago I traced my father’s genealogy all the way to the old country. 


The author Joy Budensiek is the creator of this wonderful and intriguing series. She has an interesting story that brought her to making this series. One day she heard a speaker give a statistic about a low rate of Christian parents not talking to their children when it comes to spiritual things and about God. As a teacher at a Christian college she asked her students, “Did your parent talk to you about God in the daily routine of life?” The majority of kids said, “NO”, they informed her that the majority of the information they learned about God was from the church, VBS, camps, and other church activities.” She was amazed, as many of these kids grew up in a Christian home.   

With that knowledge she created this series of books as a means for parents to interact with their children. Her desire was that it would create further conversation about God and his amazing creation. She uses Deuteronomy 6:7   You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up”. This scripture should be reminder of the responsibility that God has commanded use to teach our children as parents about God in our day to day activities.

Ireland is a charming hardback book roughly around 8x10 with forty-nine fully illustrated pages. The paper and illustrations are high quality. The characters are animated. The photos are stunning with pictures of places in Ireland from castles, animals, and breath taking scenery. I want to pack my suitcases and head to Ireland now! Joy Budensiek has a goal of writing books for all 50 states. Ireland is her first international book in the series. 


What I really appreciate about the By the Way Book Series is that they come from a Biblical Worldview. There are scriptures throughout the pages. The author points out many things throughout that shows God’s love and creation throughout the story. I love that this is just one of many books that cover a larger spectrum of geologically based Christian Worldview books. This book gives you so many opportunities to share about God's amazing creation. I love it when books have scripture throughout the pages of a book. It gives me an opportunity to share His word with them while we are snuggled up on the coach reading. I savor those precious moments now that my kids are older to have their complete attention. I'm grateful that my kids talk to me about God and scripture still.

As I was reading By the Way Book: Ireland to my 12 and 15 year old we discovered some wonderful information about Ireland. We all felt like we were taking a road trip around Ireland within the pages of the book. The story follows Alex, Lexi, and their mom as they are visiting relatives in Ireland. As we are taking our “road trip” we are learning about the country of Ireland and the rich culture. At the same time we are learning about Ireland’s history.  Alex and Lexi are learning how God is involved in our lives. 


For younger kids they can search for specific pictures throughout the pages of the book. Even my kids found themselves searching for the objects on the pages.

We start out learning about the Irish Terrier and how the dog served in War World I to assist the Irish military to carry messages to the troops on the front line. 

The kids learn that in Ireland you drive on the left side of the road and that the driver sits on the right side.


We learned a lot of information about varying topics like the red-tailed fox. We read about some Irish proverbs on this sly creature. Then we found out some information about dolphins and whales. We also learned about the kingfisher and the puffins. The photos are stunning! I always think about sheep with Ireland and sure enough we read  about the sheep in Ireland! Some other animals are the Connemara Pony, goats, otters, and swans.


The kids liked learning about the oldest lighthouse in the world and in Ireland that has been around since the 5th century. We enjoyed hearing the story of Blarney Castle and the “kissing the stone.” Which my kids didn't like the idea of kissing a stone that others have kissed. They loved the idea of doing it minus the kissing! We learned about how a phrase "blarney" came about. It made us chuckle!


My son was intrigued by the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant’s Causeway. My daughter loved the castle-abbey and the story about glass.

I loved the section about the “potato famine” of 1840 – 1850. Because of the famine many people left Ireland to go to United States, Canada, and Australia. The potato famine is what brought my father’s family to America. My kids learned a bit of history of what made some of our own family leave their homeland. We learned a little about immigration and a bit about the RMS Titanic.

I really enjoyed the history behind the Belleek China. I remember my grandmother having a beautiful weaved basket that was a family heirloom. I never really knew nothing about it until reading this book. I certainly didn’t know it was pottery from Ireland. The kids joined me on my rabbit trail learning more about Belleek China as we read about it online. Now, I understand the history and would love to own a piece myself to pass down a bit of my Irish roots to my kids.

You can’t talk about Ireland without learning about leprechauns and Saint Patrick which we learned some interesting information about both of them. I loved all the Irish folklore and myths throughout the book.


 By the Way Book Series had definitely created a lot of conversation in our home about God and His amazing creation. We also discovered a lot of information about Ireland.

These books would make a great unit study. They cover all kinds of topics that are fascinating for all ages. You have scriptures throughout. You have science with all the animals. Not to mention culture and history. This could make a unit study in itself or you can add it to another unit study.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew have been reading other book in the By the Way Book Series: New York City, Indiana, and Alaska. Those are the newest books in this series if you go to By the Way you can check out the other titles available! I absolutely love these books they are amazing. If you click on the banner below you can find out some information about the other books I mentioned.

http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/by-the-way-book-series-new-york-city-ireland-indiana-alaska-by-the-way-reviews/





Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I Plus Inc. New Improved 2 in 1 Pet Grooming Glove Hair Removal Deshedding Review





Do you have fur babies? I have three of them: one dog and two cats. All of them have different fur types. One of my cats sheds a lot and we are constantly sweeping it up. My white dog moderately sheds and my youngest cat has the longest hair but, not much of a shedder. I was intrigued by the I Plus Inc. New Improved 2 in 1 Pet GroomingGlove Hair Removal Deshedding and wanted to see how well it works.

You can purchase it here.


The “new improved version” is for left and right hand and it has the bristles on both sides instead of one side.



The bristles are a silicone material and cover the palms and all five fingers. The glove itself is a black breathable material. The section around your wrist has a Velcro strap to tighten it around your wrist. I personally think I’d like the glove to be a bit more form fitting. It feels a bit bulky and unnatural on me while grooming the animals. The animals probably don’t notice and it made them happy. The nice thing with the way it’s made is that one size fits all and you don’t have to guess your size. 



At first my cats were a bit skittish around the glove and weren’t sure what to think of it. After getting them comfortable with the grooming glove they relaxed and enjoyed being groomed. It was the cat’s meow to them. It’s almost like petting your cats but, with a purpose of grooming them.

My dog didn’t have any issues with the 2 in 1 Pet Grooming Glove and was getting a bit jealous of the cats getting all the attention. 


After you groom the animals the fur will peel right off the glove. It’s easy clean up without out fur going everywhere. It was very nice and super easy to use.


As far as the quality of the glove itself the stitching in the finger and at the bottom came undone in a few places. I have small hands and my kids have small hands so, I’m not sure what made the stitching come undone. When I received it was in good shape. My kids and I have been using this everyday and we noticed the finger come undone after the second week.

Overall, I Plus Inc. New Improved 2 in 1 Pet Grooming Glove Hair Removal Deshedding nice alternative to grooming your pets. The cost is reasonable. They do have a 100% Money Back Guarantee and you can’t go wrong with that. 

You can spoil your fur babies by buying it here

I received a free copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and the thoughts are my own.


Friday, September 7, 2018

Less Than Perfect by Ann Spangler Book Review

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What can the Bible’s most flawed men and women reveal about who God is and how he reaches out to less-than-perfect people? In Less Than Perfect, bestselling author Ann Spangler takes us beyond cardboard cutouts of 38 biblical characters to show us how these were real individuals who had dreams, temptations, and weaknesses just like us.

Whether considering the murderous Herodias, the scheming Jacob, or the doubting Sarah, Spangler approaches both familiar and lesser known characters with fresh eyes. We meet each of these individuals again as if for the first time as Spangler offers a dramatic retelling of their lives, insight into the historical and cultural context of their time, and key takeaway points for our lives today. Each chapter includes questions for discussion or reflection, making Less Than Perfect ideal for individual or group Bible study.
My Thoughts:

Several years ago I read Ann Spangler’s book Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus and was impressed by the depth and contents of the book. 

Less Than Perfect is just as good. She covers 30 stories of some 38 men and women from the Bible, which like us, are flawed and less than perfect. Each story is a retelling of characters from the word like Jacob and Esau, Ruth and Naomi, David, Rahab, and other well known and some not well known individuals in the Bible. She has a variety of men and women from the Old and New Testaments. Each story is no longer than ten pages. She has some creative liberties in what these men and women may be thinking or feeling. Usually, I’m not a fan of this but; she does it tastefully and keeps true to God’s word in tack. She has scriptures throughout each devotion.

 After each of the 30 stories she has some historical information called the “Times.” Followed by the “Take Away” section which takes it back to you and how it impacts you and what you can “Take Away” from the story with some thought provoking questions. 

Throughout the book you see God’s love and forgiveness. Just like the men and women back in the days of the Bible they were “Less Than Perfect” yet God still loved them and used them despite all their flaws. 

A wonderful book Several years ago I read Ann Spangler’s book Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus and was impressed by the depth and contents of the book. 

Less Than Perfect is just as good. She covers 30 stories of some 38 men and women from the Bible, which like us, are flawed and less than perfect. Each story is a retelling of characters from the word like Jacob and Esau, Ruth and Naomi, David, Rahab, and other well known and some not well known individuals in the Bible. She has a variety of men and women from the Old and New Testaments. Each story is no longer than ten pages. She has some creative liberties in what these men and women may be thinking or feeling. Usually, I’m not a fan of this but; she does it tastefully and keeps true to God’s word in tack. She has scriptures throughout each devotion.

 After each of the 30 stories she has some historical information called the “Times.” Followed by the “Take Away” section which takes it back to you and how it impacts you and what you can “Take Away” from the story with some thought provoking questions.
Throughout the book you see God’s love and forgiveness. Just like the men and women back in the days of the Bible they were “Less Than Perfect” yet God still loved them and used them despite all their flaws. 

A wonderful book that I plan on reading again in the future.  

I received a free copy of this product from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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