Thursday, January 28, 2016

Why I Participate in Scripture Writing

One of the first things I try and do every day is spend time in my Bible.  That is the best time of day for me to read and study God's word.  I can't really claim that I am a morning person and I really never have been, but that is when it is quiet in my house and mornings are when it works best for me to study.  I have tried several times to do my studying in the evening before bed, but I must admit, sadly, there are many nights when this tired mama would fall asleep reading the Bible.  So mornings it is.  One thing I have always done with my Bible reading is to write down verses that really "speak" to me or ones that pertain to my current situation, etc.  It is not a new concept for me to write down scripture.  You can open several of my notebooks around the house and find verses written in them.  In the last few months I have gotten very purposeful about my scripture writing.  

I was very intrigued last November by friends on Facebook who were participating in Scripture Writing.  They had a plan that someone had created that listed verses about thankfulness that you wrote down each day.  The intent of them was for you to look up the verses and meditate on them while you are writing them.  Each day this activity would take you 5-15 minutes depending on the passage being written.  To be honest I was also a little bummed about the scripture writing because I had missed starting it at the beginning of the month and at the point where I saw it, the month was about half over, so that got me to thinking.  I really wanted to get into my Bible more, learn more scripture, and spend time reading it daily.  That was a commitment I had made and I wanted to keep it.  So just before December started, I saw friends posting the December Scripture writing list and I knew for sure that I wanted to participate.  I wasn't jumping on a bandwagon or being trendy, I started following these lists for Scripture Writing because I wanted to focus specifically on spending purposeful time in my Bible each day.  Not only do I write down the verses for each day's writing, I spend time checking out the chapter the verses are in and reading the verses around the ones I am writing.  I loved December's plan because it focused on Jesus.  There were passages that talked about his birth, passages from the Old Testament that predicted his birth, and more.  Then came time for January's Scripture Writing and I was completely on board.  This month's passages have been about being made new in Christ, the promises He has for us, and instructions for living among other things.  I enjoy doing the Scripture Writing and I plan to continue.  

February is quickly approaching and I already have my February Scripture Writing plan pinned on Pinterest (you guys should know by now I pin everything, just click the link to see the pin).  I am definitely going to continue writing out Scripture verses.  I like being able to meditate on them in this way and it is comforting to me that in the short time that I have been following the plans that were put together by Shannon over at Sweet Blessings (I don't know her personally, but she is a fellow blogger and I am LOVING her blog so go and check it out, add it to your reading lists), God has had me writing verses that have given me peace in all the craziness I have been dealing with.  I feel like there have been days that God knows exactly what I would need to see and write to remind me that He is in control and He knows all.  That is why I participate in the Scripture Writing - to hear God, be purposeful in my Bible, and study God's word.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cutting the Mommy Madness

It is Monday again already and the weekend just flew by.  It seems the clock moves even faster over the weekend and the alarm is going off on Monday morning before I even got anything done from my list, but that is okay, it is life and that is how it goes.  It seems I always have a to do list a bazillion miles long and never enough time to get it all done.  I guess that is all just part of being a mom, a wife, a teacher, a friend, a cook, a seamstress, a housekeeper, and all the other roles around my house I fulfill.  Honestly, I used to get very frustrated that I never got my to do list finished and I let it get under my skin.  I was grouchy, moody, angry, and just FRUSTRATED when I couldn't get everything done on my list.  This lead to me being grouchy, moody, angry, and just FRUSTRATED with my family and I wasn't giving them the best of me, but only showing them the worst of me which in turn made me feel like a terrible mom, wife, friend....  God helped me see that this doesn't have to be my every day.  There are things I can do to make my day go better, get things marked off the to do list, and be a better, happier person.

How do I cut out the Mommy Madness?

  1. I PRAY.  I go directly to my Heavenly Father and pour my heart out.  I need His help and I can't do life without Him.  I need God to show me what things I can change, what things I need to give up, and what things He can change or help me change.  

  2. I READ MY BIBLE.  I do my best to spend at least 10-15 minutes a day reading my Bible.  I can't let God work through me efficiently if I don't know His Word.  "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."  Psalm 119: 11  I can't follow this verse if I am not studying the word on a daily basis.

  3. I GET UP EARLY.  This step isn't for everyone, but it works for me.  I like to have a little quiet time in the morning before everyone is up.  This is my time I spend praying, reading my Bible, and enjoying a cup of coffee.  My kids are a little older now so I am not up and down through out the night with them so I can set my alarm for early in the morning.  I have to confess - I am NOT a morning person, but when I don't get up and have quiet time before my kids are up, I feel off balance.  

  4. I GO TO BED AT A REASONABLE TIME.  Again, I know this doesn't work for everyone, but I can tell you I don't function well when I am sleep deprived.  No sleep = grouchy Cassandra and grouchy Cassandra = grouchy kids + grouchy hubby and grouchy family = bad day.  So the solution to this is to get enough sleep and the only way to do that is turn off the Netflix and get myself in bed even when I really, really want to know what happens on the next episode.

  5. I MAKE LISTS.  I use to make lists that were unattainable.  They carried over day after day and every time I got one thing done, I was adding something else that needed to get done.  Lists were super frustrating to me.  I was complaining about this years ago to a friend and she gave me a tip that I use every day now and it makes my lists attainable.  The tip was pick the top 5 things you need to get done for that day and write down only those things.  If you cross them off, you can add more items, but no more than 5 things should be on your list at a time.  I stick to this and my lists are much more attainable which just makes me happy.
    My to do list for is blurry, but you get the idea.
  6. I TAKE A LITTLE ME TIME EVERY DAY.  Between homeschooling, managing the house, running errands, keeping appointments, and everything else I do, I could easily get overwhelmed it I don't give myself a little time to recharge every day.  Sometimes I get this time in the early morning, sometimes it is after my hubby gets home after work, but whenever it is, it is my time to let my brain relax and just unwind.  Sometimes I catch a show on Netflix, sometimes I read, and sometimes I craft it just depends on my mood.  I make a point to take a few minutes each day and do this without feeling guilty so that I don't get overburdened with the day to day tasks.  
    My current craft project, cross stitch wolves for my son.

    A recent crochet project, my first full size afghan for my bedroom.
This is what I do to help cut the mommy madness in my life.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being a mom, it is amazing.  It isn't always easy, but I have figured out what I need to do for me to be a happy mom and serve my family better.  What do you do to cut the mommy madness?  What tips do you have for me?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

5 Apps We Use for Homeschooling

Let's face it technology is all around us and it isn't going away.  We can abuse the technology around us by being completely glued to it and not living in real life or we can use it for good things.  So you have to decide how you use it and how you let your kids use it.

We use technology in our house for learning and for fun, but I will admit it is a little overwhelming.  Why?  There are so many things out there - websites, apps, programs, and the list goes on.  Today we are going to focus on Apps, because they are everywhere.  It seems like there is an app for everything and it can be hard to decide which ones to buy or download for free.  How do you know if an App is really worth it?  How do you know if it is all it claims to be?  For our family, we do the research on them and look at the reviews.  When we got our iPad several years ago, we knew we would not only use it for fun games to entertain, but we also wanted to use it as part of our schooling.  We knew there were great educational apps out there, but we had to figure out what worked best for us.  After researching apps, reading about them, and checking out the reviews, we found some really great apps that we do use as a part of our schooling.  These apps are not the only things we use for school, I am sure you could probably do that, but we have not chose that route.  Some of them we use on a daily basis and others we only use occasionally, not because we don't love them, but because they are subjects we don't need every day.

Here are 5 apps we really use for homeschooling.  They are Apple Apps because we have an iPad and I am providing the link to them so you can find them easily.  These are NOT affiliate links and I am not being paid in any way for my opinion on these app nor am I getting paid if you click the link.  They are truly just the apps we use and we like for our school.

Stack the States™
We love this paid app because it is fun.  My kids don't know that I love for them to play on this app because they are learning.  They learn the state shapes, capitals, and the location of the state within the United States.  My kids have fun playing this "game" because they earn states and they can unlock bonus games while they are playing.

Duolingo is a FREE app and we are using it to learn Spanish.  We decided as a family that we would learn a language and we chose Spanish.  This app is easy to use and you work one level at a time.  We learn words, phrases, spelling, and pronunciation in this app.  You can also use it to learn other languages.  My kids love the little owl coach that tells your progress and they love the visuals throughout the app.  

This is a paid app designed to help with reading.  I think I may have downloaded this one when it was either on sale or the free app of the week.  Anyway, my daughter and the little girl I babysit for love this app.  They have a lot of fun with it.  It teaches letter sounds, combination sounds, rhyming. letter matching, and more.  They love it because they can record what the words they are sounding out and hear it played back to them.  Even though both of them can read now (they were both just beginning to read when we downloaded it), they still love to play this app and earn stickers to decorate the raven's tree house.  There are multiple levels to play and they still have fun with it even knowing how to to read independently.  It was a great tool when they were just learning to read too.

This is one of my very favorite apps for my kids, honestly I like to work in it too.  This app is connected with their website which we use too.  I really, really love this one and do highly recommend both the app and the website.  We downloaded it to work on math, but they also offer science and humanities which I am sure we will use in the future as the kids get older.  You can do level specific math work, watch videos with explanations for how/why a problem is worked the way it is, and earn badges for the work you do.  One of my other favorite parts is that you can set up student accounts for your kids and then set up a teacher account for you and then link the two.  This allows you to quickly go in and check your dashboard to see what your student has been working on and how they are doing on the work.  LOVE it!!!!  I must admit as a self proclaimed "math nerds," I find my hubby and I working on upper levels of math in this app too.  :)

This free app isn't necessarily just for homeschooling, but it is great for that.  I download a wide variety of books from Amazon that I do get for free to this app.  When my kids need some quiet time they can grab our iPad, turn on the Kindle app and look for the books I download for them.  They also use this app when researching topics for papers.  Several times I have downloaded free reference books or books on topics that I know they are interested in so that they do have them when they need to write papers or give speeches.  This app is great for when we can't get to the public library right away and I know the books I have downloaded are books that we approve of and are safe for them to read.

There you have it.  5 apps we use in our homeschooling.  Do you use apps in your homeschooling?  If so, which ones do you use?  Also feel free to check out which apps my other friends on the Schoolhouse Review Crew are using in their home schools by clicking on the picture below.  

Our favourite Apps for Homeschooling iOS and Android

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Be Still

Have you ever really struggled with a situation and just not known what to do about it?  A situation that you prayed and prayed over and still feel like you were not getting any answers.  You think you have made a decision and are ready and then something else happens and you know now is not the time.  So you pray again and again, you think you have made a decision and then again something happens and you try to make your decision happen and you just can't.  Has this happened to you over and over?  It has for me.  There is a specific situation in our life that we keep praying over and we think we have it figured out and we have a true answer and then something will happen and the decision gets blurry again.  Then something else happens and the answer becomes clear.  It feels like God is telling us something, but then we start asking more questions and it seems like it is just us trying to make the decision and not God.  It has been exhausting, frustrating, and it leaves us feeling torn every time we think over our situation that we have been praying so hard about.  Without saying too much about our situation since it is a private matter, I can tell you that it concerns a path for our family to take together.

But as always God is faithful and He uses the Holy Spirit to prod me and grab my attention.  He did this just this past weekend when I was really struggling with our situation.  I was listening to someone speak and they said something about they sometimes get ahead of themselves and think God is leading, but they realize they have taken the matter into their own hands.  Insert poking and prodding from the Holy Spirit here because all of a sudden everything in me knew this was exactly what I was doing.  I was trying to get ahead of God and figure out the answers to my prayers and situation before He was providing them.  I've been praying for answers and a clear sign about our situation and telling God I was waiting, but then on my own I was looking very hard to find my own answers.  God really used the Holy Spirit in that moment to grab hold of me and get my attention.  I was so convicted that I started praying right there.  I asked for forgiveness for saying I was giving the situation to God, but then trying to find answers on my own.  I asked for forgiveness for the ways I have judged the situation and tried to force my opinion on it.  I prayed that God would help me get out of my own way so that He could work and He could truly lead because that is what I and we truly want for the outcome of this situation.  We want God to lead us, to show us His direction for us, and to make it clear.  I had been so eager for an answer I was trying to force it.  God met me in that moment and gave me this verse to cling to.  He has it on auto repeat in my mind and there is no doubt from me that God placed it there. 

The whole verse is “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

I know it is from God because it has brought me such peace about the situation.  It has opened my eyes and I can see that I truly need to follow this verse and let God work.  So now I sit and wait knowing that God is in control and I feel His peace about our situation.  I know He is at work and I know in His timing and according to His plans He will let us know what to do.  I truly know that now, without a doubt and I am happy to BE STILL.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Faves: Soup

Hello Friday!  I can't believe you are here already, but I am happy for the weekend.  It has been pretty cold in our area lately and the weatherman says it is supposed to be very cold at the beginning of next week too.  So I thought the timing was just right to talk about soup.   Here at our house, we love soup.  It is a year round food for us and something that is usually quick and easy to prepare. It is one of our "go to" meals on a busy night when we need to get out the door and it is one of our favorite comfort foods.  I even use soup when we have game nights with friends.  I will provide the soup and salads and they bring finger foods and desserts, it is a great arrangement.

Today I am going to share our ten of our favorite soups with you, rest assured we have way more than ten favorite soups, but I don't want to overwhelm you with all of them.  All of the links will go to the recipes I have pinned for them on Pinterest so that you can quickly pin them too if you want.  So without further ado here they are:

Ten of Our Favorite Soups
(in no particular order)
  1. Stuffed Pepper Soup - I can't get my family to eat stuffed peppers for the life of me, but turn it into soup and they gobble it up.  For our personal preferences I omit the brown sugar in this recipe and I cook my rice on the side so it doesn't get too mushy by soaking up the soup broth.  Hubby and I also like to add hot sauce for a nice kick of flavor
  2. Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup - This one is on our menu at least once a month if not more often.  I have made it just as it is written and love it.  I also have now adjusted it to my THM eating plan by omitting the potatoes and subbing in cut up cauliflower for them.  My family loves it both ways.
  3. Chicken Bacon Crock Pot Chowder - I cook my bacon on the stove and crumble into each individual bowl so it stays crisp.  The family loves this one enough that they don't even complain about the mushrooms in it (you can omit them and it is still really good).
  4. Slow Cooker Chicken and Quinoa Chili - We just tried this recipe for the first time this month and my family LOVES it, so much so that I made it again last night and my son ate the leftovers warmed up for breakfast today.  They are already asking for it to be on the menu for next month.  This makes it a WINNER in my book.
  5. Original Taco Soup Crock Pot Recipe - We LOVE this taco soup recipe from the blog A Year of Slow Cooking (I love her blog too).  It truly is a family favorite that I make about once a month.  We top it with sour cream, cheese, and broken up tortilla chips....YUM!
  6. Italian Meatball Soup - This recipe is from the Pioneer Woman and we love it.  I have made it just as written.  Sometimes I serve it with rice in it and sometimes I add noodles to it (both cooked separately from the soup so they don't get mushy) just depends on what we have and how we are feeling.  I have also played with taking out the potato and subbing in cauliflower and it is pretty good like that too.
  7. Lentil Soup - We love this soup that I created and put on my blog a couple of years ago.  
  8. Pizza Soup - My creative son cooked up this soup for us and I shared it with you a couple of weeks ago.  We love it and hope you will too.
  9. Cheesy Vegetable Chowder - This one is easy and super tasty.  It is a great way to use up veggies and my kids love it.
  10. Crock Pot Pasta Fagioli - This is my favorite soup at Olive Garden so I was delighted to find a recipe for it that tastes just like the soup at the restaurant.  It is another one from A Year of Slow Cooking, I told you I love her blog.  We love it just the way it is written.
There you have it, ten of our favorite soup recipes.  Let me know if you try them and which ones you like.  Also let me know what your favorite soup is, you never know it might end up on our menu.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Cutting the Menu Madness

If you are anything like me, you are busy with the kids, school, housework, appointments, bills, and all kinds of other stuff all day long and dinner time just kind of sneaks up on you.  It happens to me all the time, well I can say happened to me all the time.  Menu planning is an area I have struggled with off and on for many years...okay, honestly, probably since I got married.  It really isn't my favorite thing to do, but it is extremely helpful.  So today I am going to share how you can cut the menu madness.  (I think I started a series on cutting the madness without even realizing it.)

Where do I start?  I start my menu planning just by planning dinners.  That is the easiest place for me to start with it.  This year I hope to expand my planning to breakfast and lunch too, but I am just not there yet and that is okay.  I will get there.  I start off by sitting down with our calendar for the month and mark out everything I know we have going on - Wednesdays are church night, Sundays we will be at church in the mornings until at least noon, every few Tuesdays my hubby runs basketball at church, gatherings, etc.  Those are the nights I try to plan out a crock pot meal.  Once I have a general idea of our schedule for the month, I check the freezers and the pantry to see what we have on hand.  This tells me what meats we have so I can plan around that and what veggies we have on hand to have as sides or to go in main dishes.  The next step for me is Pinterest (you can follow me by clicking the link).  I check out the recipes we love, the ones we want to try, and the ones we have tried in previous months.  I then start adding meals to our calendar and moving the recipes (the ones on Pinterest) to the board for that month's menu.  I started doing this so I don't have to try and go back and find which recipe I was looking at during my planning.  I might have a small Pinterest addiction and lots of boards and LOTS of pins so it is important I can find what I am looking for when I go on there.  (I plan to do some organizing of my boards, but it is not a top priority right now.)  That is pretty much it.  That is how I do it.  I combine our family favorites, tried and true recipes, and new recipes to come up with a month's worth of dinners at a time.  It usually takes a couple of hours once a month to come up with the next month's menu plan, but in the long run it is worth it.  It saves me the dreaded question of "What's for dinner?" and the even more dreaded answer of "I don't know."  Now I know what is for dinner every night of the week, I plan my shopping trips accordingly, and I know what time I need to start prepping dinner to have it done on time.

One last thing that has helped me a lot is our tradition of "Pizza Friday."  Friday's are always some sort of pizza night in our house.  I blogged about it here.  This means my toughest decision on Friday is what form of pizza we will have and I always have the ingredients for it on hand.  This keeps it simple.  You can find January's Menu plan post here.  You can also find other month's menu plans on my Pinterest page.  Please note that I do move recipes around some when we find something we really like and want to make again.

Do you do any menu planning?  How do you decide, "What's for dinner?"

Friday, January 8, 2016

My 2016 Reading List

I have made no secret of my love of reading.  I have shared what I have been reading a few times here.  I have also admitted that I am usually reading more that one book at any given time.  So today I thought I would take a moment and share with you what is on my reading list for 2016.  I am positive that I will be adding to this list as the year goes on and I will let you know when I do.

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst - I read this book in the spring of last year and I picked up to re-read at the end of last year.  I am working through it again because it has SO much good stuff in it.  Every time I pick up this book and start reading I feel like I get something out of this book, something I didn't see before or a new understanding of some Scripture.

Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day by Glynnis Whitwer - I started this book last year as part of a Proverbs 31 Bible Study, but I have to admit the Bible study moved too fast for me and I got behind and I had to put this book on hold.  This year I am ready to tackle this book again, but at my speed.  I know it has great things in it and I am looking forward to reading it again.

Cultivating Contentment Women of Faith Study Guide Series - This is the book our Women's Bible Study at my church is doing.  We will finish it this year and I really am enjoying it.  It is practical and who doesn't need contentment in their life?  I know I certainly do and this is an area I am really working on.  

The Money Saving Mom's Budget by Crystal Paine - I am looking forward to reading this one.  I shared our huge news of paying off my student loans here and I can't tell you how exciting this is for our family.  It is HUGE to not be strapped down to that debt anymore.  Now my brain is churning about what else we can pay off/pay down.  I think this book will help me focus on that and help us find extra money we didn't even know we had.

Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst - I have had this one on my bookshelf for awhile and I truly intend to read it this year as I have heard lots of wonderful things about it.

The Promise of Security by Beth Moore
Feathers From My Nest by Beth Moore
Breaking Free Day by Day by Beth Moore
Believing God by Beth Moore
Further Still by Beth Moore - All of these books by Beth Moore I downloaded when they were free on my Kindle.  I love her Bible studies and I am looking forward to reading through these books and more by her.  

These are just the non-fiction books sitting on my shelf and on my virtual shelf.  I can't even begin to list all the fiction books I want to read, that list is so long it isn't even funny.  I am a little excited for the cold weather coming our way this weekend and the beginning of next week so I can curl up with a hot cup of coffee or tea and one of these books.  The cold is a great excuse for reading time, right?  

What is currently on your bookshelf to read?

Check out my blogging friends and see what they are reading too...

Our Must Read Books for 2016 {Dad & Mum's Book Stand}

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A New Way to Follow This Blog

Today I am giving you a new way to follow my blog...Bloglovin.  Use this link and add me to your following page.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I told you I was working on building my blog and making it better this year.  This is just one step in the process.  Thanks in advance for the follow.

Monday, January 4, 2016

January Menu Plan

I know I am a little late this month in posting a menu plan and I hope you all will forgive me for that.  Being on Christmas break really messes with our schedule and those two weeks really flew by for us.  So without further ado here is what we are eating for dinner this month:
  1. We attended a family Christmas party
  2. Leftovers
  3. Leftovers
  4. Zuppa Toscana with cauliflower in place of potatoes
  5. Green beans, potatoes, and kielbasa
  6. Stuffed Pepper Soup
  7. Poor Man's Beef and Broccoli
  8. Pizza
  9. Slow cooker Mexican Chicken
  10. Slower cooker Chicken and Quinoa Chili 
  11. Tacos
  12. Steak with Mashed Cauliflower
  13. Hearty Two Bean and Lentil Chili
  14. Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup
  15. Pizza
  16. Chicken Soup
  17. Fireman Bob's Crockpot Spicy Sloppy Joes
  18. Meatball Parmesan
  19. Lemon Butter Chicken
  20. One Pan Mexican Quinoa
  21. Tilipia with roasted Cauliflower
  22. Pizza
  23. Chicken in Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce
  24. Slow Cooker Cheesy Enchilada Quinoa
  25. Sour Cream Beef Enchiladas
  26. BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad
  27. Chicken Bacon Chowder
  28. Low Carb Empanadas
  29. Pizza
  30. Italian Meatball Soup
  31. Vegetable Beef Soup
You can find many of these recipes on my January Menu Plan Pinterest Board.  If they are not on there they are probably a family favorite and I don't use a recipe.  Let me know what you try and what you like. Yearly Membership Review

Homeschooling isn't always easy and sometimes you need a little help in some areas that is why I am so excited about this review.  Sometimes you search and search for the help you need and you find things that are good, but not great.  Other times you find the jackpot!!!  I have been lucky enough to receive the Yearly Membership on to review and let me tell you it is the jackpot for homeschooling.  I am telling you if you are homeschooling, RUN and sign up to today!!!!

This is part of the home page of

Let me tell you why this is one of my favorite new sites for homeschooling.  It is packed full of courses, ideas, activities, help, and even videos for EVERYONE in your homeschooling family.  This site is useful for parents, students, teachers, and the entire family.  I will admit when I first logged on to their site I was a little overwhelmed at the amount of material on there, I thought "How will I ever choose what we look at first?"  Then I started really exploring.   I went first to their "New Members Hub" and I was so glad I did.  This is one the best explanations of how to use a website that I have found.  It took me through what I would find on their site, how to use what I found, and areas I would find of interest among other things.  The next area I searched through on the site is their courses offered.  I was blown away by the amount and variety of the courses offered.  We have been looking for some electives for our son for awhile now that he is in middle school, but were not really sure where to start with him.  So we started here...

We chose the Web Game Design course taught by Chris Yust.  I wasn't sure if this was exactly the right starting point for my son as he has not done a lot of computer work in the past, but it is a middle school course and he is showing interest in game design so we decided to try it.  We read through the overview and pulled up the first lesson.  My son wanted to try it on his own so he sat down and got started.  The first lesson took him about 30 minutes and he needed very little assistance from me.  I did show him a couple of things as he momentarily "lost" a folder (it just didn't move where he thought it did).  When I checked, he had followed the lesson step by step and gotten it  right.  (I will say I think the first lesson would have taken less time if he had more computer knowledge to start with.)  The next night my hubby sat down with my son and read through what he had already covered and the next section with him.  In about an hours time my son had created a working html file.  The next day for the next lesson my son did it completely on his own.  He added to his html file writing Java Script completely on his own.  A couple of things took him a few times of trial and error, but he kept at it and now his html file is looking really good.  I am extremely impressed with the class so far and my son can't wait to finish it and create his own web game.  We are really happy that we choose this course for him and his progress on it.

I was also looking for a class for my daughter.  I wanted something that I could have her work on while I was working on school with my son.  So I was really looking for something she could do by herself once I got her started.  Right now she loves reading, writing, and grammar activities.  So I searched under this area...

I found her the Daily Puzzlers that are created by Judith Holbrook of  These are fun little logic based word puzzles that use thinking skills, spelling, and vocabulary skills.  My second grade daughter loves figuring out these puzzles step by step.  She zoomed through the first few and begged me to pull up more.  She can't wait each day to do her puzzle and she is having a lot of fun with this course.  We will definitely continue working through the Daily Puzzlers.

There are also many classes that I plan to start once we start school again this week after our Christmas break.  I plan on having both of my kids work through the Elementary Spanish lessons and the Everyday Spanish Copywork as we want to learn a second language and we have dabbled with Spanish.  Even though my son is in middle school I think the elementary lessons will work for him too as he is just in the beginning stages of learning Spanish.  I was also very excited to find Bible Adventures: Spanish as a course offered.  We know these stories in English so it will be fun to learn them in Spanish and we plan to do this as a family.  I know this course is meant for preschool/elementary, but I think they will be a perfect starting point for our family.  Another class that my daughter wants to start after break is Everyday Easels.  She LOVES art so we are very excited for her to try this one especially because they break down the lessons according to grades.  We also want to start the Geography lessons by Terri Johnson with both kids.  These lessons are also broken down by grade level so each of my kids can work at their own level.  There are many more courses we will be checking out too and I will come back and let you know which ones we are trying.
Some of the pros of  courses offered through are the variety.  There is a class for every age, every family, and so many subjects on here, it is hard to choose which one to start first.  Another pro of the courses are many of them have course completion certificates you can print out when your child finishes the course.  My kids love to share their accomplishments with our family and friends so this is a great way to do that.  Another pro of the courses is that many of the higher level courses have credits for completing them.  The courses that do have credits, list them on the course Transcript Information.  This is just the beginning of the list of pros of the courses offered.  The only con I have found so far is having to decide which course to start with.  There are so many courses that fit for our family that it was truly hard to choose our first one.

There are many other perks of the Yearly Membership at  They have many resources for members that include planners, resources for teaching, current and back issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, monthly menus and the list goes on.  I am just starting to scratch the surface of this part of the website, but I am loving what I have found so far.  The site also has a media library that is AWESOME!!!  My daughter and I watched some of the videos on there the other day as we were relaxing and she can't wait to see the next one of the series she was watching.  My hubby and I are excited to check out some of the Bible study videos in their media library.  I truly could go on and on about but I am sure you don't have all day to just read my review.  I do have some super exciting news for you my readers. is offering my readers a special -50% on a 1 year subscription when you use the coupon code: CREWFOLLOWER.  RUN, NOW and get your subscription.  You can use my affiliate link to if you would like so that I get credit for your purchase or any of the affiliate links in my post.

I am also excited to let you guys know that I am a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew which is an awesome community.  You will definitely be seeing more reviews from me and the crew this year on my blog.  As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I will get the chance to try out homeschooling products and tell you all about them.  So please go and check out more reviews over at the Schoolhouse Review Crew: Review 2016

Please let me know if you get a membership at  I would love to know what courses you and your family are using.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Goals

Happy New Years!!!  It is a new day, a new year, and time to set some goals.  I might mess up, I might not accomplish them all, but I am sure going to try.  Here are my goals for this year:
  • Put God first!
  • Read my Bible more
  • Pray more
  • Family first
  • Play more games
  • Craft more
  • Read more
  • Lose more (weight)
  • Love more
  • Camp more
  • Move more (exercise)
  • Try more  (have you seen my Pinterest?)
  • Cook more
  • Eat out less
  • Save more
  • Spend less
  • Blog more
  • Choose joy
  • Complain less
  • Be present
  • Spend more time with friends
  • De-clutter more
  • Stress less
  • Enjoy the life God has given me