Saturday, August 21, 2010

Download 'N' Go Giveaway Winner!!!

And the winner is...................... Kelly Zavala !!!!! Yay! 
So happy for you, Kelly!!  --and thank you for your family's choice to continue to serve our country :)

You should have a link in your inbox soon :)

Glorious Hair

Remember sleeping in pink sponge rollers?  Love it!

But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her 1 Corinthians 11:15

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm Dreaming ....????

Okay, so I came across this website, Planner Perfect and together with what I've been reading at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee, I was inspired.  I was inspired to look long term and make goals for myself.  Long term for me is for the whole month or maybe some things for next month.  Most days, I am honestly just living that day.  That's all I can handle.  Mentally, I must only survive the day to feel accomplished.  Meals. Clothes. School. Errands. Bible. House. Smiles. Hugs. Kisses. Those are my priorities and they occur in random order throughout the day. 

I didn't used to think of dreaming as writing out the "to do" list for next month.  But now I do.  It is my dream to live a life with purpose.  To think out a bit about the things that are important and make them happen, with a bit of forethought. That IS success for me. I'm mostly writing this out for myself (accountability).  Here are my dreams, so far.....

August: keep kids fairly consistent in keyboard lessons, finish knitting the hat I've started, finish the rest of the month staying within my WW points, get kids' pictures made.

September: plan for a drill date that we are traveling to with my husband, plan for a child's birthday that is the 25th!, make a date/reservation and go camping, make ornaments for a Christmas ornament exchange that we do each year, begin searching for deals on winter clothing, kids' sports start--keep up with that.

Those are the things that will keep me on track and feeling like I have the majority of things under control. And, my planner contains the details of how to make all of these things happen for our family.  It might loook like a glorified "to do" list, and to some, it is.  For me, it is Peace :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Organization: Home Management Binder

You are looking at one of my most treasured homekeeping tools!  I used to do the Flylady type Control Journal.  That has since morphed into my Home Management Binder.  I don't have the time to follow an entire notebook system devoted solely to housecleaning.   This binder manages each area of our home, in as much detail as I can manage. Simplify and streamline.  That's what works best for me.

Here's a look at what mine contains:

1. Meals and recipes
There is a recipe section for things that I have printed out and do not have the time to transfer to little index cards. I have a monthly menu made up and will hopefully share that soon and I'm planning to make a grocery shopping list to go with each of those weeks so that the lists is already done for me.

2. Homeschooling
This section contains all those little notes that you write down along the way or lists that you must print out and have no place to store.  For example, I have a 3-pg list of narration starters.  Where would I put that? Also, if I have pending orders I would put email confirmation paperwork in there. 

3.  Personal
This section has a chart with each person's name, date of birth and social security number for easy access.
There are gift ideas and clothing sizes.  This is also where I do some of my "doodling".  I plan for my garden, write down home dec ideas, etc.

4. Household
My secretarial spot.  It has the name, phone number and account number of every agency and business with which we hold accounts.  Also, the library, our hair lady, medical offices' numbers, etc.  There is also a rough schedule in there, just to keep me on the path, but nothing like a Flylady get-up.  We do jurisdictions each day and try to encourage each other to clean behind ourselves as we go along.  Also contains husband's drill schedule and any info that he needs me to have handy.

5.  Ministry
Contains contact list for church families and ideas/notes I have in my head for things church related stuff.

Now the front inner pocket contains immediate needs, such as delivery confirmation slip from the Post Office, or other things I would want immediately at hand on a day-to-day basis and I don't want to leave it out on the countertop to catch a spill.

I do have the zipper pocket in the front (Flylady) that holds handy stuff like pens, paper clips, etc..

Can I see yours???
Link up with me to share our Home Management Binder ideas!
Link up

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Review: Training Hearts Teaching Minds

Our family does a family devotional each evening before bed.  We have all the children finished up with needs for the evening so that we can all pay attention.  We are usually all piled up on the couch together and my husband assigns who will be the reader each evening.   Others will be finding Scripture and reading along, but Dad will have told the child the night before if he/she will be the reader for the next night.  They get sooooo excited when it's their turn.  Even the 4 yr old "reads".  We just read it quietly and she follows, repeating aloud. 

This year, along with our academic books, we ordered Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, by Starr Meade, as our family devotional. It is based on the  Shorter Catechism.  I have never been a catechism-y kind of person.  But, this one got rave reviews so I thought I'd try it out.  Each week delves deeper into one question from the Catechism.  The question and answer are stated and each day's devotional message and appropriate Scriptures are divided up into short daily readings.  There are 107 weeks worth of devotions.

As we begin our devotional time, we review the previous questions and answers.  The children love this!  We call on a different child to give the answer to each question.  We are not down to exact wording and they  are doing very well at it.  Then, we go on to complete the day's reading and the Scripture passage(s) given and discuss how they relate and how we can relate it in our lives.  We pray together as a family, as well, before bed.  And Dad tells who will be the Bible reader on the next night. This is not some in depth theological debate time.  It is simply a time that we draw our family close together and share truths of God's Word.  Nothing fancy.

We love this tool!  It makes it almost too easy to get family devotionals started for your family.  I would enthusiastically recommend it.   And for 2 years' worth of devotionals for right around $10, it's quite the bargain as well.  I think the ages of comprehension for our family are closer to the 8 and up range, but we have our younger ones learn to sit in on teaching and hear the Word.  It's good for them--Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ ( Romans 10:17)! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Man

This is a pic I found on his computer...this is how so many soldiers still serving conduct their family bonding time.

Today, being that my husband has been working extra hard lately, I thought it would be a good day to start my Love List.  Hopefully it will be an encouragement to him and a reminder to me of  10 of the many, many reasons why I love him .
He has been pulled in so many different directions lately with his civilian job and the military and some days he just collapses into bed.  I have hard days, too, but mine are mostly dealing with my little people whom I love dearly and in situations where I have a great deal of control. 

I love this man because:
1.  He works awfully hard for our family so that I can stay home with our little people.
2. He is very determined.  It doesn't really matter what it is.
3. He can be very goofy.  I love it when he makes me laugh.
4. He's Brave.
5. He is a wonderful Father.
6.  He does Bible study with our children.
7. He is a very strong leader.
8. He is sensitive.
9. He is always looking for family time.
10. He is strong. (physically and otherwise:)  )

Monday, August 16, 2010

TOS Review: Download 'N' Go : Roller Coasters

My next review for Download 'N' Go is Roller Coasters (by Amanda Bennett). This unit is a wonderful resource for teachers who are uncomfortable teaching subjects like Physics (this would be me). It contains 94 pages of fun filled learning  for an entire week.  Roller Coasters is filled with links and is complete with experiments  to help you inspire your children's creativity and help them understand gravity, force and motion. All for just $7.95!

The study is in e-book format and very simple to use.  The only preparation required is to search out optional library books to read along during the week for enrichment.  My small town library only had one of the titles given, but once we got into the study, I did not feel that extras were essential. 


I did this study with three children, ages 10, 8, and 6. This study is listed for grades K - 4 but I felt that it was a good fit for my 5th grader, as well.


Our family does much of our learning all together around the table , or in this case, the computer. We learn by talking and reasoning through our topics. We read through the study, seeking out more information through the videos and/or links given. We even created our own roller coaster using one of the resources provided. My students also related the roller coasters to our traveling in the hilly areas around our area. It also sparked memories of tthe blizzards and sledding downhill last winter. It was very rewarding  to me  to help them to make the connections to 'real life' concepts.


When I first thought of doing this unit, I thought that we'd do a little on gravity and a lot of just fun kiddie stuff.  I was so wrong. Roller Coasters really took us for a loop! I was impressed with  how my children never even knew they were studying Geography, Math, even some trivia along the way.

 The Download 'N' Go provided all that I needed to present physics topics to my children in a way that they could understand.  Reading over the material beforehand helped me feel very confident in presenting these concepts to my children.  It was so easy, in fact, that I felt quite silly for being nervous to begin with.  I also felt that the study could have extended beyond one week to go a little bit deeper, especially as I looked for ways to adapt the study for my older student.  This, of course, makes it even more of a bargain and cuts out all preparation time.  If you are a lapbooker, you're in for a treat on this one! There are plenty of great lapbook elements to supplement your learning. Our absolute favorite part of the unit was the video showing the experiment on force. My children watched that over and over and over!

Thanks so much, Download 'N' Go, for helping this homeschool mom get over the fear of physics and help my children enjoy learning, too!

I have been provided one free copy of Roller Coasters Download 'N' Go to giveaway free to one of my readers!!   To enter, leave me a comment and provide a contact email so that I can let you know if you're my winner!!!!!

Disclaimer:  TOS provided me with a copy of this unit study in exchange for my honest review.  This would have been my opinion had I purchased the e-book myself.