Just Being Us

Just Being Us
Family, where we can be real, and feel unconditional love!

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Harvest

 I love Fall.  It is season of such beauty here in Ohio.  The leaves are changing, the air is crisp and clean, and we begin to celebrate harvest.  When I think of harvest time, I think of the verse found in Galatians.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  ~ Galatians 6:6-9

     We will reap what we sow..... I don't know about you, but that makes me really think about my actions and words.  Whatever we sow now, we will reap later.  Good or bad.

     I think we really need to take this seriously as we raise our children.  What are we sowing into their lives on a daily basis.  We need to sow the fruits of the spirit, manners, love, and character qualities that will reap a harvest later in their lives.  Even if we do not see a harvest right away, we need to remember that it takes time to reap what we sow.  It could be a season or years.

     We also need to remember that what we allow them to see and hear and who they hang out with, will also be sowing seeds in their lives that will reap later.  TV shows, movies, video games, computer time.... they will all have an effect on our children.  We need to be careful that these things are not undoing what we are training them in.  Sensor what they see and hear!  It is not sheltering them, it is raising them in an atmosphere of godly principles.

      When I was a young mom, I didn't think of these principles and I allowed some things in our home that was not godly.  I will tell you it had some repercussions.  It was a bad example for our children and they saw and heard things that I could not change.  We now use this verse found in Philippians as a way to choose what we see, do, and hear.

     What will you sow today, in order to reap godly behavior from your children tomorrow?

For some great FREE printables on prayer, click this link:  http://letsgetreal2016.blogspot.com/2016/09/free-printables-prayer.html

Thursday, September 20, 2018

As Easy As 1...2...3

     Let's get real about acquiring our children's attention! I want to share my short comings I had in this area to help you.  

     Do you ever get tired of repeating yourself or even yelling in order to get your children's attention?  I know I have been there. It's frustrating when our kids are not listening to us.  We usually react in two ways.  We either give up or we get louder and louder.  It's stressful for us and for them.  This vicious cycle had to stop, and I had to be the one to stop it.  

     I had to figure out why this cycle kept occurring.  Was it because my kids didn't respect me or was it me?  I tend to look to what others are doing wrong before turning the light on myself, but that is not right.  I need to focus on my behavior and how I can make things better first! 

      As I started thinking, I realized that my children listen best when I am in control of my emotions.  Just because I am having a hard day doesn't mean I should take my frustrations out on them. They need a mama who is in full charge of her feelings.  If I want their attention, I must be concentrating on the task at hand and not allowing other things to affect me.  If I am able to manage my emotions, they will learn to do this also.  I don't need to yell to get my point across.  

     As an older and more mature mom, I have learned to do these 3 things:
  1.  Get to my child's level.  If  they are small, its important to  kneel down to their height.  If they are older, sitting on the  couch to talk seems to work best. 
  2.  Talk with a quiet and calm voice.  Children learn to tune out our yelling, then we get upset and yell more.  
  3.   Ask your child to repeat what you have said to them.  It helps them retain what they have been told or asked to do. 
     If you do these three things, you have done your part.  Now if your child still continues to be inattentive, you know that you must address their behavior not yours. 

     It's not easy to be a patient parent, but as we study God's Word and pray for Him to help us, it does get easier.  God is very patient with us isn't He?  He can teach us to be like Him.  He wants us to be an example of His love, kindness, mercy, and grace as we parent our children.  

      I will be praying for you and I hope you pray for me as we journey through this life.  It's important to lift up other parents in our prayers.  We need to encourage one another, not put each other down for making mistakes.  We all make mistakes because we are not perfect.  We are all sinners in need of God's forgiveness.  We all fail, but if we love and support one another, it is easier to get back up and try again. 

     How can I pray for you today?


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Picta Dicta Natural World

     Our family has been learning Latin together over the past year so when we were chosen to receive and review Picta Dicta Natural World from Roman Roads Media, my daughter was very happy.  This program is a great supplement to what we are already studying, and will help her learn more quickly.  She loves nature so this was a great fit for her.   

     Picta Dicta Natural World is an online vocabulary study program that you can subscribe to.  We were given the 14 month subscription to review and I have to tell you that it is well worth the $49.  The $49 will get you 14 months for one user.  If you want to add more users you will only pay $10 per user on top of the $49.  I think that is a great deal and a wonderful value for what you get.  

     This program is self- paced and will help you learn the Latin words for many things in nature. This program differs from others in that they want you to be able to name these items in Latin by looking at the images instead of just translating from English to Latin. There are several different levels that you get to chose from.  They begin with Basic, English I,  Reader I, then Reader II, and for advance learners, you can chose Express.  

     Hope is an avid reader, so we chose to begin with Reader II.  We felt the first levels may be too easy as it teaches many of the English words along with the Latin words for these items in nature.  In Reader II, you are taught Latin right away.  During the entire duration of these lessons you will learn over 400 words.  I wish we would have had this program last year to give us a good foundation for our Latin classes.  

    I asked Hope if there was anything she didn't like about the program and she said no.... it's really fun and I don't even realize I am learning a different language.  I think that is awesome.  It's like a game for her.  She is enjoying it and I am happy she will continue to learn with it.  

    We were given two licenses for this program because I wanted to use it too.  So far Hope is learning at a much faster pace than I am. I think it's because she has more time to dedicate to it, but I am loving what I have learned, and will be continuing my study as well.  

     Would you like to learn more about this program?  I would encourage you to head on over to their website or check out their social media pages listed below: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanRoadsMedia   @romanroadsmedia
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/romanroadsmedia/  @romanroadsmedia
YouTude: https://www.youtube.com/user/romanroadsmedia  @romanroadsmedia
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/romanroadsmedia  @romanroadsmedia

     We have more reviews of this program along with Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder over on the Homeschool Review Crew site here

Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}

Have a blessed day!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Kingdom Files

      Bible class hasn't always been a priority in our homeschool, but that all changed a few years ago. When we started putting God first, our days just went more smoothly.  It isn't easy to find curriculum for our 11 and 13 year old that isn't either too easy or too hard for them.  I was excited to be receiving and reviewing two titles from the Kingdom Files series published by Barbour Publishing. I was hoping these would be a good fit for our family, and I was not disappointed. 

     Who Was Jonah? and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? are books written by Matt Koceich.  Matt is a father, husband and public school teacher with a Masters degree in Education.  These books are amazing little Bible-based biographies.  They are geared towards ages 8-12, but even my 13 year old loves them. 

     These paperback books are about 90 pages in length and are full of fun facts about these characters from the Bible.  There are now six biographies on the website to choose from. My children were so thrilled with the two we received, they wanted to buy more.  I was happy to see that  our local Christian bookstore carried them, and was able to buy another one for the kids to enjoy. We will be buying the rest of the set soon!

     Who Was Jonah? takes our children on a journey with Jonah, a prophet, who disobeyed God and was eaten by a big fish.  While in the belly of this fish, Jonah has a change of heart. He wants to help the people of Nineveh.  Will he continue to be obedient to God?  You will have to read the book to find out.   

     Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?  will help our children to learn more about this young woman whose life was forever changed when she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus.  From the announcement of Jesus to His crucifixion, you will see things through her eyes.  This book was so intriguing that my daughter read through it twice. 

     Each book begins with a Fact File about the character.  We then have the Action Files that tell all about the person.  After you have read the Action Files, you are given 10 Power-Ups.  These help you to ponder what you have been taught.  I love that at the end of the books is a sneak peak of another Kingdom File book.  These books are a great way to get children interested in the Bible. Like I said before, we will be purchasing all of the them.  My children just loved the way these books were laid out and didn't want to put them down.   

     Would you like to learn more about these books and others from Barbour Publishing?  Just head on over to their website or their social media pages listed below: 

     We have more reviews for these biographies over here ↓↓↓  I hope you have some time to check them out 😊

Kingdom Files {Barbour Publishing Reviews}

Have a blessed day!!!!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of GrammarPlanet

     One of my favorite subjects in high school was grammar.  I loved finding the subject, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs of a sentence.  Diagramming was like a game to me.  Let's just say I was a grammar nerd.  Everyone thought I was a little nuts for enjoying it so much.  So you can guess when we were chosen to receive and review GrammarPlanet, a complete online curriculum to teach grammar, puncutation, and usage, I was a bit giddy.  

     When I started homeschooling and my kids were old enough to learn grammar, I was excited to teach them.  Out of 6 kids, only 1 really loved grammar as much as I do.  She still loves it today. Most books do not make learning grammar rules fun.  I was excited to see what GrammarPlanet had to offer.  

    You begin by creating a parent then student account. They are different.  The parent account allows you to see your child's progress and reset units if needed.  The student account is where all the teaching takes place.  

     My 11 year old daughter, who doesn't really care for learning grammar, was happy to try this program out. It was so easy to sign up and log in. Once we were on, she began to do her first unit study.  Each unit has a print out that you must print before starting.  Your student will then watch an instructional video for the unit study. 

     The instructor is great.  She is lively and her voice is soothing.  At the end of the video, your child will be asked a few questions to be sure they understood the video before working on the unit study questions and tests.  

     If they have comprehended the teaching video, it is time to move on to the unit practice questions and tests.  I sat with my daughter during her first couple of unit studies. During the interactive practice sessions, you will be labeling the words in the sentence that corresponds with the unit study. Like if nouns were being taught, you would label all the nouns in the sentence and so on. My daughter didn't get all the questions correct, so we went back and discussed what she had marked wrong and she was able to understand why she didn't get it right.  This helped her to do better as she headed to the next lessons. 

     Just when I thought I knew all there was to know about grammar, I realized there were even things I could learn from this wonderful program. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a veteran, this is a great program to help you learn grammar or just brush up on your skills.  

    Would you  like to learn more about this program?  What if I told you that you could try it today for FREE?  Just head on over to the website GrammarPlanet and get started on your journey.  The free side has ads, but soon you will be able to pay for a no-ad version for just $39.  We have a strict school budget so the free version will work for us 😉

     To learn more about this program you can also visit their social media pages listed below: 

     We would love for you to check out other reviews of this curriculum over here
Grammar Program Online {GrammarPlannet Reviews}
Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Looking for Teachable Moments

     "MOM!" How many times do you hear that word in a day? Over the past 23 years, I have heard that word at least 50 times a day. I remember the first time our oldest son said it.  I cried.  I thought it was the sweetest word I could ever hear.  Now,  I will admit there are times I cringe when I hear that word being yelled across the house.  It doesn't bring the joy it use to. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom, but let's be real it can be hard some days.  

      So what do we do when our children are crying out for our attention?  How do we handle the day to day squabbles?  What if Suzie and Jerry are fighting again and Tommy will not sit and do his schoolwork?   Well, you could just run to the bathroom and hide {yea right!} or you can choose to look for teachable moments throughout your day. It's all about getting to the heart of the issues.

     It's important to step back and ask yourself why your child is acting out or disobeying.  Sometimes they can't convey their feelings with words, so they express it with actions. You have to be able to figure out what is going on at the time. 

      I use to handle issues by using band-aid parenting to curb the bad behaviors of my kids. I wanted a quick fix, so I would yell at them or send them to their rooms instead of getting to the root of the problem.  What is at the heart of the issue? Some children will do anything, and I mean anything, to get our attention.  It is our job to assess the situation and find a solution that will have a long-term effect.

     Would you like to know how we should handle these opportunities to teach?  Here is what we need to do step by step:
  •  When we see our child acting out, we should stop and pray before reacting.  We want to act not react during their bad behavior.
  •  Don't feed the misbehavior. No yelling or screaming.  Quickly remind the child that their behavior is not acceptable and that they need to stop.
  •  Sit down and talk with your child. Ask them why they are acting in this way. Allow them to share their feelings, but remind them it must be done with respect. 
  •  After you talk for a while, explain why the behavior was wrong and give them other ways they could express their feelings. {Now would be a good time to get the Bible out and show them verses that will help them next time they are feeling out of control}
  •  Pray with your child. Let them know that you are there and that God is there to help them. 
     I know it isn't easy to be calm, cool and collected in the heat of the moment, but our children need us to be. They need our guidance, not our frustration when they are acting in a way that is inappropriate.  That is why we need to be in control of our emotions even when they're not. You do this by praying each day for God's strength to see you through it all.  Read your Bible and allow God to teach you so you can instruct your child. Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you look for these teachable moments. You will find that you will also learn as you teach.  


     We have more blog posts that may help you in this area.  
Come check them out 👇



Friday, August 24, 2018

Friday Favorites!

      Today is our final day for the Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop.  I want to finish by sharing our favorite school supplies.  Let's talk about these amazing things we can not homeschool without. 

     Our Bibles are the most important thing we have in our homeschool.  I can't imagine going one day without reading God's Word and applying it to our lives.  We have found that His Word is the lifeline of our homeschooling days.

     There is one website we use each and every day.  It is SchoolhouseTeachers.com.  This site is full of so much curriculum for grades K-12. From math to science to electives like foreign languages and drama/speech,   I can't possibly tell you how awesome it is.  I would highly encourage you to follow the link above and see for yourself.  It is worth every penny and then some 😊

     Our homemade chalkboard is a great asset to our homeschool.  We mainly use it for Latin, Math, and Bible classes.  We have also used it to help remind us of important dates or events.  It hangs on our living room wall and looks amazing since we made it ourselves with a beautiful picture frame.  We just painted the glass in the frame with chalkboard paint, let it dry for 24 hours and now we use it on a daily basis.  It cleans up really easily and is not chipping at all.  

     Our learning games make school fun.  We try to take a few hours a week to play games.  They can teach logic, math skills, reading and much more.  When your kids are having fun, they don't even realize they are learning.  It's a great way to teach good sportsmanship and character as well.  

     If you ask our youngest what school supplies she can't do without she will immediately say her art/craft supplies.  She uses her markers, colored pencils, gel pens, and paints almost every day.  She loves being creative and I love watching her create.  
     Here we have two things we use.  Our kitchen table and our science equipment.  We love experimenting and we love doing it as a family.  That is why we love the kitchen table so much.  It allows us to gather together and learn as a family.  I think I learn just as much as the kids some days. 
     We love our essential oils. They help to keep us alert and focused.  Our home always smells so good.  

     We have recently added a letter-board to our homeschool. We enjoy changing the message a few times a week and it helps remind us of quotes or Bible verses that build our character.  It's a lot of fun to use and gives us an outlet to be creative. 
     Last, but not least, we have our morning basket.  This little basket helps us start our mornings on the right foot.  We have our daily devotional in there along with our planner, things we are memorizing, and sometimes a little activity.  Mornings really do set the mood for the entire day.  It's important to start them out with a good attitude.  

     I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the things that help our school run smoothly.  We have seen our list change many times over the years.  What are your must haves?  We would enjoy reading your list 😉

     Would you like to read some wonderful blogs about homeschooling and family life?  Here are a few to get you started.  

Wendy @ Life at Rossmont 
Yvie @ Gypsy Road

Please join us for the final day of the Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop!!!