Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ashes on the Moor {Proper Romance}

I just adore every Proper Romance that Shadow Mountain has published!  And, I have really enjoyed author Sarah M. Eden...  I tend to start reading her book and then just can't put it down.  I'm excited to share that her newest book is no exception!   
Ashes on the Moor is another just-can't-put-it-down read!

In Ashes on the Moor, Evangeline Blake and her sister are all that remains of their strong, loving family.  As her aunt and uncle arrive to charge of the girls they discover, to their horror, that her sister will be sent to live with their domineering and angry grandfather, while Evangeline must earn her own way by becoming a school teacher in the impoverished town.  

Devastated at being separated from her sister, hurt by being thrown into the working class, Evangeline arrives at the town school discovering that the building is completely inhabitable.  Having been raised as a genteel lady, Evangeline is anxious and overwhelmed.  She doesn't have the first idea how to cook.  She doesn't have any food to cook.  She can't fix the things wrong with the building.  Not that it mattered, she has no tools.  She has no cleaning supplies.  Not even a bed to sleep on...or blankets to cover herself.

  But she MUST succeed.  
To succeed brings the hope that she can bring her sister there to live with her.

Not giving in to defeat, Evangeline turns to the one person who can help her:  Grumpy and quiet Dermot McCormick.  Even though he seems terribly inconvenienced by helping her...help her he does and very slowly a tentative friendship begins to grow.  Evangeline's heart is tugged by Dermot's quiet little boy and she is anxious to help him...  If only she knew how.  

I can't tell you much more without starting to give away spoilers, so you will just have to read the book to find out what happens to Evangeline and Dermot!   

You can purchase Ashes on the Moor from your favorite retailer.

I know I have gushed over and over in previous reviews about Sarah Eden!  She is one of my top favorites!  You can find out all about her books by visiting her website:

And keep up with the latest Sarah M. Eden news by following Sarah on Facebook!

And stay on top of all things clean and romantic by following Shadow Mountain's Proper Romance on Facebook too!

Disclaimer:  Thank you so much for the chance to review Ashes on the Moor.  I was given the advanced reader edition free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  :)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Why we switched from BiblioPlan to Heart of Dakota (again!)

As many of you know, I have been an avid curriculum jumper for quite some time.  We have really struggled to find something that just "fit" in the area of history & science.  We have always fallen back on BiblioPlan again...and again...and again...  We really LOVE BiblioPlan.  (Remember the burning of London and the Rice Crispie Castle?  Thanks BiblioPlan!)  But, in the last couple of years we have struggled with getting it done.

(the girls lowering their conestogas down the cliff - 
Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory)

Having Kayley in middle school and Maggie in early elementary the girls were just far enough apart in age that it was getting to where, doing things together, meant that someone was either not challenged enough...or it was above someone's head.

To make matters even more complicated it was to the point where the girls felt like I was "inventing" things for them to do...just to keep them busy.  So, one unnamed daughter, often felt that what I assigned was "optional" since it wasn't technically written down anywhere other than where I assigned it in our handwritten assignment books...

(Making a glider - Resurrection to Reformation)

I have never really wanted to use a boxed curriculum, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more I realized that maybe the box was the way to go?  After all, I would no longer be "the bad guy" who was inventing and writing down work just to make my kids miserable.  I thought we might give it a try...  Somehow I thought that the girls would hate it and be SO glad to go back to BiblioPlan...

Well, I was right & wrong.  So, in 2016 we did a 6 week trial of Heart of Dakota.  (We also did a 6 week trial of Ambleside Online and some of The Good & The Beautiful but they deserve their own blog post).  First, I was right in that we didn't like it...at first.  We very much missed doing our history and science together among several other things....  So, we went back to BiblioPlan.

(Art - Beyond Little Hearts)

We did BiblioPlan for a few more months and I soon realized that I (Mom) was doing all the work.  So, of course they liked it better.  I was spoon-feeding them what they needed to know.  I read aloud the history.  I read aloud the questions...  I helped with maps.  Unfortunately I was failing them...  They needed to be independent and I realized that Heart of Dakota was working in that respect.

Then one day, out of the blue, Kayley told me.  "I really liked Heart of Dakota.  Can we try it again?" So, we did.  And many of the worries I had about it were gone...  Looking back I think I didn't have Kayley placed well in her guide.  I think we would've been a bit more successful if we had made more of an effort to place her accurately.

(Science - Res to Ref)

So, for the last 5 months we have been using Heart of Dakota almost exclusively.  Even down to the writing (which Kayley originally hated).  Both girls are thriving!  Kayley just finished up Resurrection to Reformation.  Maggie is 4 weeks shy of finishing up Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory.  I adore not being "the bad guy."

Don't get me wrong.  There are a LOT of things I miss.  I miss lesson planning a little, but I have found a way around this by enjoying planning out "the riches" that we never seemed to have time for before but do now.  I miss learning history & science together, but we still have plenty of time for our Joy Basket and a read-aloud, which are usually history or science!  We also do Drawn Into the Heart of Reading together which has been surprisingly fun and easy to implement...

I look forward to sharing more about our homeschool journey using Heart of Dakota!
Thanks for swinging by!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Goodbye February! Hello March!

It's crazy how fast time flies.  Sadly, I don't blog as much when I do not have deadlines to meet.  I enjoy participating in the TOS Crew because it encouraged me to blog a lot more...  I didn't go back for this season because...oddly enough...I was having trouble blogging as often as I should.  LOL.

Well, February is done and gone, but here are a few highlights of our month!

My nature girl enjoyed getting outside and doing some of her favorite things... she started constructing a native american longhouse... 

And even found an arrowhead in our backyard!

She made this Algonquin purse-thing as part of her history project.
We have made a switch back to Heart of Dakota for the rest of the year, but that is a long story...and I'll save it for another blog post.

Maggie still works diligently at piano, practicing often and without prompting.
It's awesome! 

In our Literature Studies the girls both did hilarious interviews of book characters... 

Kayley built a glider in science that actually flew! 

We also enjoyed our poetry tea at the beginning of March!
We did a Dr. Seuss theme.

Crazy hats were essential. 

We also stepped out last Saturday and did a road clean up with our neighbors!

These cows thought we were crazy and stood there and moo'd at us for quite a while.

In Maggie's history lesson (also Heart of Dakota) we learned how the pioneers pulled their wagons up and down the mountains.  It must've been really challenging! 

I do believe that catches us up a bit.  
Thanks for swinging by!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Check Me Out {Book Review}

Assistant Librarian, Greta, absolutely loves everything about her job.  She loves books, she loves people, she loves the library.  One day, in the poetry section, she meets Mac.  He is everything that she loves about books...he's handsome, smart, and well-read.  After interrogating her bestie, Will Marshall, she learns that Will has sent this handsome dude to the library, just for her!  Could it be love at first sight?  Maybe.  He seems like the perfect guy as he begins to woo her and shower her with affection.  As they get to know each other, mostly through text messaging, she begins to wonder why he seems so different in text that he does in person.

When the library starts running into trouble with money, Greta decides to do everything she can to keep the library from becoming obsolete.  Enlisting the help of her bestie Will, she realizes that it has always been Will who is there for her.  Will who jumps to her aid.  Will who she turns to for advice... Maybe this Mac guy isn't all he's cracked up to be?

Much of the conversation in this book takes place as text messages.  How apropos in todays world where I think more and more people are getting to know each other through social media and texting!  I thoroughly enjoyed this quick and quirky read!  

Purchase Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite from your favorite retailer!  

Disclaimer:  I received Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.  Thanks for swinging by!

Wonders of Wildlife Museum - Bass Pro Shops, Springfield MO

We had a great time visiting the brand new Wonders of Wildlife Museum located at the Bass Pro Shops in Springfield.  I had heard people grumbling that the museum was quite pricey...and it was...but it was so amazing and so well done that I really thought it was worth every penny.

The girls with a statue of "Uncle Buck."

Of course, this being the wonders of wildlife you can expect to see lots of different types of animals.  Not too mention, in pure Bass Pro style, you can see LOTS of antlers.

The Conservatory. 

They had penguins! 

And also amazing dioramas of animals in other countries.

The aquarium is a second portion of the museum and requires a separate entry. 

They have divers doing live shows. 

And a touch pool. 

We were really quite impressed.  I think the thing that really amazed me the most is how family oriented the museum is.  Everything is focused on creating and maintaining strong family relationships and you can just feel it throughout the museum.

We really felt that the museum is competitive with any that you would find in a "big city."
We are also excited to see that they will soon be offering educational classes for kids, including homeschool classes!
We bought annual passes to the WOW museum and can't wait to go again and again.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...