Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids

I was so excited to get an opportunity to review How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids by Rachel Carmen for my first TOS Review!  I had read an excerpt from this book a few weeks ago it had been floating on my wish-list ever since!

I, personally, had never questioned the idea of homeschooling.  I always knew it wasn't for me.  I wouldn't do it.  Absolutely not, no way-no how!  I enjoyed my "me" time way too much, I was counting down the days until Kayley would start preschool and I could have a couple of hours to myself!  I had even made sure that Kayley was potty-trained at 2 years old so that as soon as she turned 2.5 I could enroll her in preschool and I could get back to being "me."  I missed "me" a lot!  I would be able to go to school, get a job, go shopping, whatever I wanted -- all unencumbered by a toddler.  It sounded like bliss!   Or was it?

PhotobucketIn her book, How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids, the author Rachel Carmen was a lot like "me."  Homeschooling was far off her radar, in fact, so far that she wondered how her smart homeschooling friends could even consider wasting their time and talents on their children in this manner.  Surely they could've made a more significant impact out in the workforce?   After several days of Kindergarten misfortune, the Carmen's pulled their oldest son out of school and embarked on the homeschool journey.  

Staying home with your children 24/7 is a humbling experience.  Becoming your child's teacher, in addition to being a parent, requires patience.  It is more than just teaching.  It is more than education.  It is a lifestyle choice that, in order to thrive, families must be united.  Using the acronym H.E.A.R.T.,  Rachel spells out exactly how you can grow closer to your children, homeschool and be happy through it all!

H - Have a Heart for the Things of God - In order to have a heart for our children, we must first have our hearts turned toward our Heavenly Father.  Spending time in prayer and scripture study encourages self-discipline and a heart of gratitude.  

E - Enrich Your Marriage - Having a strong marriage builds a firm foundation for your family.  Loving and supporting your spouse demonstrates to your children that your marriage is important.  What a good example for children - when they can see that their parents love one another and work out problems.
A - Accept your Children - As parents we need to accept our children and love them for who they are, just the way they are.  It is also eye-opening that Rachel Carmen mentions that we may find that Gods will or our children may be different than our will for our children.  Talk about humbling!

R - Release Them to God - Our children are only on loan to us from a loving Father in Heaven and back to Him they will return.  What an awe-inspiring responsibility we have as parents to do right by our children to help them know and love God.

T - Teach Them the Truth - We have a responsibility as well to teach our children know right from wrong and to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost that will encourage them to make good choices.

H.E.A.R.T.  spells out exactly how you can grow closer to your children, homeschool and be happy through it all!  At the end of each section is a "Heart Checkup" for journaling and personal reflection.  A perfect read for the homeschool veteran down to the new homeschooler.

It is a small, adorable hard-bound book (only about 7" x 5")- perfect size for gifting!

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids is published by Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc and retails for $13.00.    You can download a sample chapter here or view the table of contents here.

You can read my crewmates thoughts on this book HERE.

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  
All the opinions expressed herein are my own.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

2nd Annual Fearlessly Feminine Challenge 2011 - Coming Soon!

Hi everyone!  I am so excited to hear from a couple of people who will be participating with me in the 2011 Fearlessly Feminine Challenge!  I hope that I hear from a few more people as we get closer!  

Due to some travel plans (which will prevent me from blogging -- not from wearing a skirt) I have been prompted to change the date of FF2011. 

I've had to move it up 1 week to September 4th - 10th.

What is FF2011 all about?
The challenge is to wear only skirts or dresses for the entire week and take a picture of yourself, head to toe, to share on your blog, facebook, email, or wherever...  Come back here, grab a button and link up with Swinging On Small Hinges!  Over the course of a week we will report to one another how we feel, what others thought and what we liked or disliked about wearing a skirt.  That's it!  It is that easy!

Some other details...
While there are no hard and fast rules about what you can and cannot wear please keep in mind that by dressing feminine you are showing respect for your body and for your Heavenly Father.  Please keep your outfits modest.  Preferably dresses to the knee or below and no sleeveless or low-cut tops.

What if I already wear skirts?
Wonderful!  Link up anyway!  Post a picture!  Share with us how dressing modestly and feminine makes you feel...

So, be thinking about the upcoming challenge!  I hope to hear from you! 

Save the Date!  Fearlessly Feminine Challenge 2011

September 4th through 10th!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WorkBox Wednesday

Hi!  Just checking in really, really quick.  We have been having some drama at our house! We have found 2 brown recluse spiders yesterday...big, ugly ones!  One was right here on my computer desk!  One was on Kayleys BED!!!!!  Can you just say major freak-ing-out-ish-ness going on here???  I think I got maybe 2 hours of sleep last night.  Kayley spent the night in bed with us and she was plastered up next to me all night (Can you blame her???)  I woke up a dozen times...I swear...with something crawling on me.  (Or not).

Anyway - we are still doing our schoolwork this morning...the show must go on.  I've called Orkin to come rescue us...and hopefully they come soon!   I have scooted all the girls furniture to the center of the room...and spider-sprayed in the meantime.  Somebody needs to be brave and go out into the garage and into the attic...  I'll admit that I am terrified of spiders!  Just ask my mom, she'll vouch for me!

Keep calm, carry on...  We are school as usual to try to reduce the anxiety.  In our workboxes today we have:

First Grade:

1.  Social Studies/Bible - CLE Light Unit 102.  
Today Jacob is returning to Canaan with Rachel and Leah.

2.  MUS-Alpha.  Ch. 3 we are learning our 0 addition facts.  We already know our addition facts through 9 but we are learning the why's of math by using the blocks.  This is going much better now, although Kayley is finding it dull and tedious.  We might still be looking at making a switch.  In Time & Money we are learning the 1/2 hour and 1/2 hour later on both the digital and analog clocks.  We will also be reading a simple level 1 book called "Math Monsters."  A cute way to get math and reading in together!

3.  BJU Press Language Arts.  Kayley read a poem called "Colors."  We are slowly adding to our "caterpillar" reading bug!   We built a little caterpillar head out of a circle...and we are adding a circle to it for every book that Kayley reads.  She has plans of having it be SO huge that Grandma & Papa will be SO impressed when they come for their next visit!  I'm already quite impressed!!  
Handwriting is the letter U.  
Spelling words are the -and, -ill, & -ot word families and 
our service word is "they." 

4.  Science.  We will be doing Amanda Bennett's 
Download & Go Unit on Handsome Horses!!  
5.  We started Spanish this week.  So far we are just focusing on the number 1-5.  It is a subject that Kayley requested and we are dabbling with a simple spanish workbook to see how it goes.  So far she has said that it is "tough." 

I am pondering the idea of trying Speekee for Spanish.  I've heard a lot of good things about it.  If you have any thoughts or experiences let me know!  If you are an affiliate let me know that too.  :o)

6.  Computer Time.  We are having fun playing with a program called Time4Learning.  I will be posting a complete review of this product next month so stay tuned!  So far I have to peel Kayley off the computer after she gets started on it...she loves it!

7.  What we are reading now:

8.  Art Appreciation.  We have started examining Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring.


1.  Before Five in a Row.   We finished up Jessie Bear and moved on to My Blue Boat

2.  We also finished learning about our eyes and our nose.  
Now we will be learning about our mouth.

3. What we are reading:
4.  We've added 2 new cards to our Touch & Feel Picture Cards.  We have added more animals.  Lion, Sheep, Cow and Horse!

Mommy School
1.  I am excited to be continuing in the Bible in 90 Days Challenge!  
I have made it to day 38!

2.  I have been invited to participate in The Elizabeth Prentiss Study as I have been working on this daily.  It is so fun!  
It uses the book Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss and your trusty Bible.
You can buy the kindle edition of the book for only 1.00!
To learn more about the study, click here:

3.  Orkin is coming in 20 minutes!!  Gotta GO!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ozark Empire Fair

 I know I haven't been updating much by way of family goings-on...mainly because there just hasn't been much.  Summer has been busy...and just hot hot hot.  Since we homeschool we try to continue on with school through the summer, so that we can take time off during the regular school year and go places that would normally be busy.  Like Disney World (I'm counting down already!) and Silver Dollar City and Bass Pro and the Children's Museum and the Zoo get the idea.

A couple weekends ago we had the chance to head off to the fair!  It was SO hot!!  But so much fun!  Kayley, I think, had the most fun out of all of us.  We bought her a wristband so she could ride all the kiddie rides...she got hot, sweaty, dirty and wet!
Poor Maggie...she didn't know what to make of it.  There was nothing for her size to she had to be content to hang out in the stroller.  She drank lemonade, ate some corndog and then hopped on the ferris wheel with us...

 Kayley convinced Daddy to go down the giant slide with her...  
You could hear her screeeeeeeeeching the whole way down!

 To end our night we enjoyed "Moinks" (moo-oink = bacon wrapped meatballs...can you just say YUM!!?) and we shared a BBQ Parfait.  (Slurp!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It Couldn't Just Happen Book Review

It Couldn't Just Happen by Lawrence O. Richards is a tastefully written book that answers some of the toughest questions kids may have about Creation.  A science book that supports the theory of Creationism and answers the questions of how the universe came to be, how people came about and how many of life's mysteries may not be so mysterious when viewed from a Biblical perspective.  

At the end of each chapter is a "Just For Fun" section which challenges the reader to complete several activities or tasks to build confidence in the story of creation.  A perfect companion book for any homeschooler, each Just For Fun section encourages further exploration to find out the truth and learn about science!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Chocolate Diaries Book Review

Everybody has struggles in life, but how we handle those struggles determines if we will live the "sweet life" or the "bitter life".  Using the analogy of Chocolate and combining the word of God, author Karen Linamen takes the reader on a food-journey to find the sweeter side of life's disappointments and introduces easy ways to learn how to savor each and every moment.  Each chapter is full of witty analogies, personal stories, and real-life application.  Each topic includes "food for thought" to help the reader with introspection and journaling and to top off each chapter, simple chocolate recipes have been included to satisfy your sweet tooth!

A deliciously, good read!

Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WorkBox Wednesday

Today's Workbox for 1st Grade:

Math - Math-U-See
Chapter 2.  We are counting to 20 and reviewing place values. 
We are also working on telling time using a small workbook that I picked up from Target. 

Language Arts -
Reviewing color words and the letter H. 
Handwriting is writing upper and lowercase H. 
Our spelling words for this week are: did, hid, kid, cap, nap, tap, den, hen, pen and the.
We will be reading the first story out of our reader, The Millers

We are also reading Girlhood Journeys - Shannon, a Chinatown Adventure  and Samantha, American Girl Book 5, Samantha Saves the Day.  Unfortunately, I noticed on Amazon the girlhood journeys books are getting hard to find.  They are great, very American Girl-ish.

Social Studies - Bible, we are going to see how Abraham obeys when he is asked to sacrifice Isaac!

Fine Arts - Charlotte Mason Picture Study:  
We will review The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Davinci (painted somewhere between 1503-1506) a couple more times before putting her away...
 and we are starting a new picture today. Shen Quan's, Pine, Plum & Cranes (painted in 1759).

Science - We are learning how to mount butterflies this week!

Want to know what everyone else is up to today?  
Check out WorkBodox Wednesday over at Adventures in Home Educating!

Workbox Wednesday

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


After 1 year, 7 months, and 8 Days (Yes, a LOT longer than normal) we finally, officially, completely made Maggie ours!  Yes!  Our adoption is finalized!  Hooray!!

 Seems like such a short time ago that we were blessed to take Maggie home from hospital.  It never ceases to amaze me that such a wonderful woman made this possible.  We love Maggie's birthmother, Melissa, for trusting us with such a precious gift...  Her selfless sacrifice proves that miracles do happen.  As Spencer W. Kimball said, "God does watch over us and does notice us, but it usually through someone else that he meets our needs."  God uses ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things...  Our hearts are full!

Maggie n' Me (Jan 2010)
  Maggie n' Me (Aug 2011)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Homeschool Mothers Journal

In my life this week...
It looks like we will finally, finally, finalize Maggie's adoption.  There has been so much crazy hoop jumping!  Such a long process!  Argh!  

In our homeschool this week…
We had a great 1st week of school last week!  I think that taking the whole month of July off was a good break, but both girls were SO bored by the end of it that all they did was pick on each other all the time.  Kayley was excited to start back and it was nice to get back into a routine.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
I found a new activity for my pre-preschooler.  Playing with rice...  A little messy but she played with it for about 20 minutes!  That's a long time for my toddler!  

I am inspired by…
All of the other homeschooling Mom's I have been meeting on the TOS Crew, LDS Parenting, and Latter-day Homeschooling!  Everybody is so amazing!

What’s working/not working for us…  Math-U-See.  There, I said it.  MUS is one of the most popular math programs out there.  I can tell that it is a great program...but it isn't working for us as well as we would like.  I think that we find the manipulatives more distracting than helpful at the moment.  I am taking some advice from other homeschool Mom's and just "playing" with the blocks for a few days to get the newness out of them before moving on.  We did that for a couple of days last week...and we will be moving on with it this week.  Fingers Crossed!  Otherwise, I'll be back out shopping for another Math program...

Things I'm working on... 
Getting set up for our 2nd annual Fearlessly Feminine Challenge!  I am moving Homeschool Mothers Journal to another day (I haven't decided which yet) to create Fearlessly Feminine Friday leading up to our 1 week challenge starting September 11th.  Watch for it!!
I am also gathering together some curriculum to sell, books to sell and some clothing to sell.  Need to make some extra $ so I can buy some more curriculum, books, and clothes.  LOL! 
I’m reading…
Both books are about Nature Deficit Disorder, a term coined by Dr. Richard Louv who strongly believes that children need to play outside in order to be healthy and happy kids.  (I believe it!) 

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Kayley drew this picture for me.  The way she described it.  

Kayley:  (On the right) "That one is Daddy!:  (On the left) "That one is me!"  (In the middle) "That's You" 

Me:  "Where is Maggie?  And why am I unhappy??"

Kayley:  "Oh, Mag is at a babysitter...and you are just so happy you are crying..."

Say What?!  LOL! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Workbox Wednesday

A little late on my posting for WorkBox Wednesday but here it is!

In Language Arts we are doing a lot of reviewing.  T and I.  Spelling words are -it, -in, -en family.  Memory words are I and here.  Kayley read 2 Bob Books vol 3.  

In Bible 1 Abraham and Sarah rejoiced at the birth of Isaac.

We also started our Charlotte Mason picture study.  We are learning a bit about Leonardo DaVinci and one of his most famous paintings The Mona Lisa!

We are also working on a manners lapbook that I created last week.  I plan on posting more about this in a separate blog update.

Kayley got a Bug Drawing Instruction book at the library and she had fun drawing a dragonfly!

We also started using Math-U-See this week...and I'm not fond of it yet.  If we can ever get over the part where, the pieces are "just like legos" we can move forward.  Lol!  We are working on place value.  I must admit that MUS seems to be making Math more complicated than necessary.  We are going to give it a couple more weeks though before we decide if it is not working...  (long story).

Pre-preschool:  We read Jesse Bear, What will you Wear from our Before Five in a Row Book, and we learned about our eyes in our Complete Resource Book for Toddlers & Twos.

Maggie also had fun "sweeping" the floor with her little dustpan and throwing it in the trash.
 Want to know what everyone else was up to today?  Check it out here:

Workbox Wednesday
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