Saturday, January 10, 2015

Homeschool Planet {Mosaics Review}

I'm a pencil and paper kind of gal myself.  In fact, I've gone through several homeschool planners, blog planners, and menu planners, of all different types and varieties.  Some of them I've liked and used often, some of them I immediately kicked myself for wasting my money.  But, through it all, one thing I have never tried has been an online planner.  Like I said, pencil and paper!  Thats for me!

Well, I had this chance to try out an online planner for free from a company that I know and love called Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  Ooohh boy, do I like free!  I like free more than I like pencil and paper, so I decided to take the plunge and give it a go.  Homeschool Planet is more than an online homeschool planner.  It is a virtual EVERYTHING planner.  

Homeschool Planet is intuitive to set up, allowing you to input all of your family members and their pictures.   You can color code each person and homeschool subject.  You can also color code appointments and other activities.  Typing them into the system is easy too.

Scheduling individual subjects and assignments is as simple as typing them into a spreadsheet and assigning page numbers or chapters.  You can assign subjects to one or more children and set it to schedule on certain days, repeat, or skip days.

Once you get your subjects into the system you can choose multiple views to see the same information.  Calendar view is my favorite.  I prefer a "big picture" to look at of all the things we hope to get done this month...

You can also view by day or week.  In my defense we are in the middle of moving and not doing much structured schooling right now!  Normally my calendar would be much more full.

Planner view allows you to see what needs to be done for that day and even provides handy check-off boxes to mark completed activities.

If you miss a day, a week, or even a month, upon logging in Homeschool Planet will help you make the changes to get you back on schedule again!  If you want to make changes you can easily shift things around at any time.

 Schedule your homeschool classes but also schedule vacations, dentist appointments, chores, birthdays, anniversaries, parties, dinners...the list is endless!

Homeschool Planet also allows you to keep grades, track classroom hours and print several different type of reports for filing in your portfolio, as well as print out a daily schedule or checklist. 

Overall I think Homeschool Planet is a great system for online planning.  I love how it encompasses both homeschool AND family life into one easy to use format. This was my first time trying out an online planner and it definitely took some adjustment on my part.  
The best thing was that, when we fell behind a day, I didn't have to get out my eraser and start making changes to my lesson plans.  It was simple to "slide" everything forward and make the necessary adjustments.

So, the real question might be, am I really sold on the idea of online tracking in favor of paper and pencil?  Maybe.  I keep going back to Homeschool Planet and I think if I ever get my life settled I will be ready to tackle it in earnest and see if I can really get this program to work for a stubborn paper and pencil gal like me.  

Do you want to give it a try?  

Homeschool Planet is offered through Homeschool Buyers Co-op.  Get more details and view a video about Homeschool Planet on their website.   Homeschool Planet retails for $65 for a 1 year subscription or you can pay month-to-month for only $6.95 a month.  
You can do like I did!  Try it before you buy it by getting the 30 Day Free Trial!

I was given this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  
To read what the rest of the Mosaics Crew thought of Homeschool Planet check out the links here:

Thanks so much to Homeschool Buyers Co-op and Home & School Mosaics for the opportunity to review this fantastic product!  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Our Adoption Profile is UP!!!

 It has taken forever but we are excited that our home study is complete and our adoption profile is UP on!  Go check it out if you want and please feel free to share our link with anyone and everyone.  Most adoptions are networked through family and friends and we are counting on YOU to help us become a family of 5!  Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Swimming Like A Fish!

Both girls are excited to move up a level in Swimming in December!  Kayley is now Intermediate II and Maggie into PreSchool Beginner II.  Good job girls!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday to Maggie!!

Maggie celebrated her 5th Birthday on New Years Day this year.  (Her birthday is the 2nd but we have a whole day to spend with Daddy if we do it a day early).

She wanted an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and she got several presents that were too too awesome!  Like, an Anna dress-up night gown...

A pretend waffle iron.

and a cool can-opener set!

It's hard to believe that Maggie is already 5! 
It seems just like yesterday that she was so little bitty.

We sure love our Maggie!!

Nature Girl {Book Review}

Being a “green girl” for God means more than just caring for our planet. It also means appreciating God’s creations and understanding our responsibility in caring for the earth. 
Each chapter covers different topics like water, air, energy, recycling, and renewing the earth, and includes crafts, Scripture verses, games, quizzes, interviews with real people and quotes from real girls. The book also contains science-based activities, career ideas, plus resources for more information.
Part of the bestselling Faithgirlz brand, Nature Girl: A Guide to Going Green is a fun read for any girl who enjoys science or the outdoors and a great resource for parents, homeschoolers, and educators.
My 8 year old daughter is, what I would call, a "Nature Girl."  She loves the outdoors, especially bugs.  She loves to climb trees and scramble up rocky hillsides.  When I saw the description for this book Nature Girl by Karen Whiting and Rebecca White I thought this might be a great way to get my daughter into reading one of her first devotional books.

I decided, upon receipt of the book, to give it a read-ahead to see what my daughter would be reading.  The first chapter is called Be You and Be Beautiful.   The first paragraph says, " might think that "nature girl" is known for dirty fingernails and sweaty bandana's --she could never be the glam girl who's hanging out to the cosmetic's counter, right?  Not necessarily so!"  The book then launches into the importance of inner beauty, beauty starts from within, really beauty is showing kindness...  and at this point it is refreshing.  I like the idea of a book that is going to tell my daughter that she is lovely because she is a child of God.  Then, I turned the page.  "Spa-day Spectacular" it reads.  "Plan a fun at-home spa day for you and your friends...."   While my 8 year old is a "dirty fingernails" Nature Girl she does enjoy some girly things...but she would roll her eyes at a Spa Party.    Chapter one includes recipes for Lavender Scented Water, Yogurt Oatmeal and Honey Mask, Flavored Lip Glos, Glittery dusting power, body glitter gel....  There is a large section on how to have a good beauty routine.  Then, there it is.  2 small paragraphs that talk about Esther.  Such a tiny little section of "God's Creation" in there.

I found this book to a cute idea.  The premise is that as you read through the chapters you are discovering how to care for God's creations.  But, a devotional type book it is not.  This would be fun for a much older girl...maybe 12+.  It gets into food, animals, recycling and more.  It has fun little quizzes and a section that discusses careers in each chapter.  Overall it might be a good book for a "girly nature lover!"

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge from BookLook in Exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.

Friday, January 2, 2015


We are all so spoiled!  
Even though we were displaced, we still had an amazing Christmas!

Christmas eve PJs are always a hit!

This year the girls got Dolly and Me PJs.  
They squeezed their Build-a-Bears into them!

For Kayley it was all about Legos...

They both begged for Baby Alive dolls...

Maggie loves to play "waitress" so these homemade 
menu's for Maggie's Diner were a big hit!

I kicked back and enjoyed it all while watching 
them play under my comfy cozy Frozen blanket...  Thanks Mom!

It was a nice, relaxing Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Still Displaced!

Well, we are still displaced!  But, we have made an offer on our new house and hopefully things go smoothly and we will be moving at the end of January.  

Since we've been displaced things just haven't felt the same.  We have a Christmas tree.  It's up in the front room of our rental.  We have gifts under it...  We've watched some Christmas movies too, but the Christmas spirit is elusive this year.  

We haven't taken Christmas pictures.  We have nothing cute to wear in them anyway.  All of our cute clothes are packed and wasting away in storage.  We finally got our Christmas ornaments made but there is no way anyone will get them before Christmas at this rate.  All my good padded mailers are packed so I'll need to pick up some more.  Our Christmas letter is written but I have no envelopes...  Hmmm...  I guess I'll need to go to the store and buy some of those too.  Which is frustrating because we already have envelopes.  Packed of course.

So, keep your expectations low from us this year.  Sorry there will be no Christmas cards, pictures, or ornaments.  There might still be a Christmas letter...sometime.

We are ready to get out of the "transition" phase of moving.  Toys are all packed.  Books are all packed.  We are bored and cold.  The house is dark and drafty.  

We can't wait to finally have a place to call home!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Susie's Hope {FlyBy Review & Giveaway}

Based on the true story that successfully passed Susie’s Law in North Carolina, which seeks stricter punishment for animal abusers, Susie’s Hope brings to life the inspirational relationship between pit bull attack survivor Donna Lawrence and Susie, a pit bull-mix puppy found beaten, burned and left for dead. Recognizing reflect and abuse were to blame for the tragic attack that nearly claimed her life 10 months earlier, Donna resumes the battered animal and accepts her as family. Together, they learn to heal, love and forgive as they lead a historic effort to seek justice and protection, not only for Susie, but all animals. 

Thank you so much to FlyBy for giving me a chance to review this movie!  What a pleasant surprise!  If I had seen Susie's Hope on a shelf there is no way I would've picked it up.  No way.  In my heart I knew this movie would be a tragic tear-jerker and I would feel depressed afterward.  Not so!  While this is what I would consider a "1 tissue movie" it was in no way depressing.   Inspiring, uplifting and motivating are much more descriptive!

In this movie Donna and her husband Roy are expecting a child.  With the intent to name this sweet baby Susie they begin plans to decorate a nursery.  It is during this time that Donna, who is very soft hearted, becomes aware of a pit bull who is being neglected.  Trying to be helpful and get the dog some water she ends up being viciously attacked.  Upon waking in the hospital she learns that she lost her baby and nearly her life.  She is told that the complications from the attack are so severe that she will never be able to have a baby again.  (This is the part where I needed the kleenex!)

Not one to be down for long Donna finds a pit bull mix puppy in the park who had been set on fire and left for dead.  Desperate to save this puppy Donna, who names the dog Susie, starts Susie's Miracle Fund to raise money to save the dogs life.  As Susie and Donna begin the healing process together Donna begins to seek justice for Susie and all abused dogs everywhere.  Pushing for better laws to protect innocent animals.

About Susie:
Susie was found nearly dead in Greenfield Park in Greensboro, North Carolina on August 20, 2009. Just a puppy, Susie had licked the face of her owner’s newborn baby. Her owner became violent—she was beaten so severely her jaw was broken. That wasn’t enough, though. She was then set on fire and left for dead. Incredibly and against all odds Susie survived. Donna Lawrence adopted her two months later. Susie is now a trained therapy dog and event won the American Humane Association’s American Hero Dog this year!

I enjoyed this movie!  I think you would enjoy it too!
Thanks to FlyBy Promotions I get to share 1 copy with a Swinging On Small Hinges reader too!  You can enter using the Giveaway Tools below!  Thanks for stopping by!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

#JohnOnNetflix Lumo Project -Gospel of John {FlyBy Review}

In principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum.  -John 1:1

Have you heard about this yet? 
It's called the Lumo Project it is playing now on Netflix!

What is it?
"The Lumo Project is a ground breaking, multi-language biblical film resource transforming the way we discover, study and engage with the life of Jesus through the four New Testament Gospels: redefining the standard of visual Biblical media... The Lumo Project encompasses four feature-length films – one for each Gospel account – that revolutionize the way we experience the story of Jesus and the world of First Century Palestine in which he lived."

"For the first time on screen, the Lumo Project takes the actual four individual Gospel texts as its script, word for word, unedited. We use the very latest historical research to recreate Palestine of the First Century as authentically as possible. We break with the stereotypical tradition of a westernised Jesus and his life story and present it as it really was 2000 years ago. The Lumo Project is a versatile educational resource that can be seen and heard by a truly global audience as it can be dubbed into any version and any language."

I had an opportunity to preview this movie and for the first 5 minutes I thought "This is so weird, they are just reading the Bible to me..." after 10 minutes I thought "This is so amazing! They are reading the bible to me!"  I was so impressed!  You need to check this out!  It is a perfect companion to your scripture reading this holiday season!  You can find it on Netflix. 

It looks like this:  

It's unfortunate that it doesn't have very good reviews so far.  It does move a little slow, but then, the Bible isn't always full of action and drama!  I think you should give it a is definitely different but it is very good and the text comes straight from the Bible.

You can find out more about The Lumo Project by visiting any of the links below! Have fun!

Thanks for stopping by!
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