Saturday, August 1, 2015

Why do you Blog-July Blogging Challenge Day 31

It's hard to believe that I have actually blogged for 31 days straight. This is a first for me. I am thankful for Lynn and Jennifer hosting the July Challenge. I really needed something to motivate me to blog. Lately, it has been hard for me to post over the last several months. I needed some inspiration.

As of date I have posted 973 post. My first blog post was April 15, 2009. Looking back on all my post I can see that it has changed off and on throughout the years. 

At first it was to keep my family up to date about what was going on in our lives. I wrote a lot about having a daughter with special needs and homeschooling her. I was extremely encouraged and amazed at the emails and feedback I got back in the beginning of blogging. A lot of individuals wanted help or information about homeschooling children with special needs. It felt like a type of a ministry at first. Not only did I feel like I was helping others I was being ministered to at the same time. It brought many blessing into my life.

Then I discovered that I could blog for books and get them for free for just writing up what I thought about the book. I still blog for books as most of you know that I love curling up to a good book.

Then my blog changed and I started getting more comfortable writing and expanding my horizons in the blogging world. I shared the many crafts that we did in our homeschool and wrote about many different things.

 I even tried to do affiliates to see if I can make a bit of money to support my homeschooling a bit. For around a year I was able to bring in a couple hundred dollars. The reality was that that type of blogging isn't my cup of tea and it was extremely challenging for me and it was too time consuming to try and build my blog up to keep it up.

I don't consider myself a natural writer. Nor do I consider myself someone who can wow and keep people coming back to my blog with many inspiring words or great post. I do have a handful of faithful followers that I am grateful that you have stuck with me throughout the years.

I have had a few vendors contact me over the years and ask if I would review their products for them. I found that I enjoyed writing about curriculum and how it worked for my family and my situation with my daughter.

I was even thinking about not blogging a year in a half ago and closing my blog down. Then I seen a blog I followed talk about reviewing for the School House Crew Review. Money was a bit tight and I like trying new curriculum and I just didn't have the resources to expand my horizon and try new things. I applied and wasn't even sure if I would be accepted. I was extremely excited when they excepted me. The ladies and one homeschool dad are an amazing group of individuals on the Crew.  I love that they pray for one another, encourage each other, and just are a fun and amazing group of people.

I don't think I write the best blog post on the reviews as I find myself more black and white. While others are very personal and I am amazed at how they bring out the curriculum. That is okay as I have also found that some readers like black and white and just the facts of the curriculum. 

The reality is that some people are just natural writers and I have come to the conclusion that I just enjoy blogging. I just write about what ever tickles my fancy at the time. 

I do think my writing has improved over the years and my grammar has greatly improved for several reasons. While I am teaching my children grammar and writing I am relearning and I turn around and apply what I have learned by writing on my blog.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and the many encouraging words. I have shared bits and pieces of myself and my life with on this blog.

My final conclusion with blogging is that it comes down to I just enjoy blogging overall. I enjoy being able to review books that I read. I enjoy trying out new curriculum that I wouldn't of even considered because of the Crew. I have found that it has been a blessing to find things that I have found very helpful in homeschooling my children. 

Most of all I enjoy meeting people from all over that I wouldn't have if it wasn't' for blogging.

Thanks for following me and stopping by my Little Homeschool on the Prairie. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Made by Me-July Blogging Challenge Day 30

This is a harder one for me as I don't consider myself very crafty. I don't sew. I have only made two crochet blankets ever. They took me over a year to complete one. 

I had to look over my past blog post to see things I have made.

I'm told I make the best sweet tea. As you know I love my tea very much.

 I make yummy Challah Bread according to my family.
My second blanket that I made for Bug.
 I enjoy growing things in my garden.
 I like growing flowers. Except the wild flowers don't need my help anymore.
 We make homemade soap for Bug's honey store.
 I like to making lip balm and have found a recipe that I am crazy over! We also do this for Bug's honey store.
 I like taking pictures. I still have a lot to learn about photography.
I  also make beeswax candles
The best thing I've ever done is my two children.
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With Lee in Virginia a TOS Crew Review

Heirloom Audio Productions has created another amazing audio book. Having listened to all the previous audio books my family was excited to listen to their newest audio theater-With Lee in Virginia.

The Civil War is an era in history that has always intrigued me. I remember as a child going to many of the battle fields in North Carolina. I was excited to share another family-fun adventure with my kids.
What we received:

We received a physical copy of With Lee in Virginia CD which includes 2 CDS and 2 ½ hour long adventure. We also received their special bonuses online in which we downloaded the PDF Study Guide that goes along with the Audio Drama, eBook of the original G.A. Henty story of With Lee in Virginia, MP3 of the story, printable poster, and a printable quote from Robert E. Lee.

The story is adapted from G.A. Henty books. If you’re not familiar with this author get yourself acquainted as he does an amazing job of focusing on honor, Christian character, and Biblical principles. They have an all star cast: Kirk Cameron, Sean Astin(Lord of the Rings), Brain Blessed(Star Wars), Chris Anthony, (Adventures in Odyssey) Kelsey Lansdowne (Adventures in Odyssey), and Jim Weiss.

This is a story of a young man, Vincent Wingfield who joins the army. He has a slave by the name of Dan. Which Dan is actually more of a friend. They face many adventures and trails from losing friends in death, duty, betrayal, faith, family, and much more.

The story is historically accurate with the issues leading up to the Civil War as it talks about the rights of the states. It also focuses on slavery. It’s tasteful and doesn’t glorify slavery at all. You will learn about many of the battles that took place during the Civil War also. I don’t want to give the story away but, I promise you that you will be delighted with the story.

One thing that has impressed me the most with Heirloom Audio Production is the quality of the audio books. This audio drama is acted out by an all star cast. The sound effects are amazing and make you feel like you are part of the story.  
The guide is well thought out with some comprehension questions. The study guide is broken down in three sections.

Listening Well: this section lets you see that your child understands the story. Some of the questions are easy and other ones are harder. All the answers are easy to locate.

Thinking Further:You can take up the story another notch in this section. You will be asking thought provoking questions that make your child think and put their thoughts in their own words. Such as trying to figure out the character’s intentions and what they think the characters are feeling or thinking.

Defining Words: those tough new vocabulary words and finding out the meaning. A valuable skill of looking of vocabulary words in the dictionary.
How did we use With Lee in Virginia in our Homeschool?

My son who is 9 and is 12 year old sister listened to this with me. Like the other stories my kids asked daily if it was here yet. As soon as it came it was quickly unwrapped. Since, we are always on the go we listened to it once through in the van and then several times afterwards.

I used the study guide to discuss the story with my children. Its summer time and it was used orally. It really let me see how much my children comprehend the story when we go through the study guide.I honestly didn't take advantage of the whole study guide due to the fact it is summer and we are in the midst of getting ready to sale our home. As much as we listen to the Heirloom Audio Productions CD's I know that we will have time to do a much better job with it in the future.

Final Thoughts

We absolutely love Heirloom Audio Productions and as of date have listened to everyone. My kids are so excited for the next one. I am just as excited and can’t wait to see what adventure we will go on next.

Social Media:

With Lee In Virginia (Facebook):
The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty (Facebook):
Heirloom Audio Productions (Facebook):

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK(s) -- July Blogging Challenge

I have always had a book in my possession as long as I can remember. Obviously, my readers know I love books from the many reviews I do.  My mom was the same way with reading. I can remember her sitting in her arm chair reading a book. I would be on the sofa laying down reading also. No TV was needed as we both loved reading. We went to the library every two weeks and left with an arm full of adventure. How I miss those precious times with my mom. We would often discuss what each other was reading with one another. She always read the western novels for the most part. I loved a good mystery or what ever tickled my fancy. I like different genre with books.

I think one of my all time favorite books is, "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls. I read it too my kids last year and it still brings tears to my eyes. I just love the story and the friendship between boy and dogs. Good old faithful Dan and Ann.

Another favorite was the, "Summer of the Monkeys" is another book by Wilson Rawls. He has some wonderful stories.

I also enjoyed the Little House on the Prairie books and Judy Bloom books as a child. 

Nothing better than a good book. I wish my son would enjoy them a bit more. It's so hard to get him to slow down and to read for pleasure. He will read but, it more for him something he has to do. He loves it when we read books as a read out loud. 

Bug with her reading issues loves being read to often.

What books do you remember being your favorite as a child. 
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Animals-July Blogging Challenge Day 28

It's no secret that my family loves animals. I grew up with cats and dogs. My husband is a dog person. For the most part cats are my favorite animal. I also enjoy my dogs. 

We have a kitten named Mercy who is always seeking adventure and is into everything. 
 Bug would consider the bees pets. So we have probably somewhere around 180,000 bees in our backyard between 3 beehives. Give and take a few hundred or so. They just don't play well with others.
 Then there is Rascal our dog that found us to be his new owners. He is a jack terrier/chihuahua mix. He is full of personality and is actually very playful.
Then we have our sweet Angel. She is a German Shepherd who is most likely in her last few weeks of life. She is very old but, very happy. She is now blind and probably in the early stages of kidney failure.

She is faithful to guard. If one of us is outside she is beside your side no matter how bad she is feeling. She is a fighter and has a zeal for life like no other dog we have ever had. Rascal makes her feel young as they still chase one another.

What kind of animal do you have?
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Best Thing-July Blogging Challenge Day 27

Day 27 of the July Blogging Challenge is: "Best think that has happened this year or the most fun we've had all summer"? 

That is a tough one as we have done lots of fun things but, I don't think I can narrow it down easily.
 Bug has done many charitable fund raiser for different organization to raise money. Designing the baskets has been a lot of fun.
 Field day with the kids.

The yearly Rock and Mineral Show is always a highlight every year.
 Our new kitty.
The county fair and the 4-H projects! 
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Thankful-July Blogging Challenge Day 26

 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

This scripture has spoken a lot to me lately.

This has been a tough year for my family. Everything changed for us in a way we didn't expect. Ministry, people in our lives, and even this week we are in the midst of packing and getting ready to put our home on the market. We are planning on moving to a small town some 30 minutes from where we are now.

We have had a lot of heartache, a lot of tears, and betrayal from people we trusted. It's tougher when you care for those that hurt you and when they are brother's and sisters in Christ.

Out of a tough year He has brought use people in our lives that we didn't know cared for us so much. It has also been a time of many nights praying and seeking His direction. Even asking God, "why did all this happen" or "what did we do wrong Lord?" We may never know why things happened the way they did in this life time. 

He did give us comfort knowing that He still loves us. Some times when you stand up for righteousness when you see something wrong it can be difficult. 

I am thankful for the my Lord and Savior helping us through this difficult time. My heart still hurts and I'm ready for the pain and the situation to be behind us. 

I am thankful for the many people God has sent us who have helped us along this difficult road-both old and new friends.

Thank you Lord for drawing me closer to you in this difficult time in our lives.

What are you  thankful for?


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