Just Being Us

Just Being Us
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology

     I have always had issues finding Science curriculum for my youngest daughter, but Apologia changed that last semester with their Zoology 2 book from the Young Explorer Series. So you can imagine how excited we were when we were chosen to receive and review Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology a couple of months ago. This is another book in the amazing Young Explorers Series.  Hope couldn't wait for it to arrive.  She would check our patio everyday until it finally came.  I was so happy to see her excited about learning Science.  

      She was smiling from ear to ear when she opened the box.  Besides being a great educational resource, it is very pleasant to the eyes.  The textbook is a hardback and the journals are so pretty and easy to use with their spiral bindings. She was also excited to see the MP3 Audio CD of the textbook read by the author.  She loves listening to audio books.  It helps her to retain more information as she reads along with the audio. 

     Hope is almost 11 so we chose to do the Human Anatomy Notebooking Journal, that is for upper elementary grades, instead of the Junior Edition. We were given both to look over and see which was a better fit.  I love that Apologia offers the two different journals. The Junior Journal has more coloring pages and less writing. It breaks down the lesson so that the lower grades like K-2 can understand them better. In the past I have always had to come up with my own worksheets or workbooks for my younger ones if they wanted to join in a study that the older kids were doing. These notebooks make teaching different age levels easy.  

     Right away we saw that the journal we chose was going to be a great way to go over what she was reading in her textbook. The Minibooks, Fascinating Facts, and Copywork make this journal stand out. They reinforce the lessons in a way that makes them practical and fun. She couldn't wait to get started. 

     Her favorite activity from the journal is putting together her little person page. She started with a body that she attached a picture of her head to, and with each lesson she adds a different system to her page. They overlay one another as she adds them. It's hard to explains so let me show a few pictures :) 



     The textbook is so beautiful.  The pictures jump off the page.  Each lesson is packed full of information about the different systems of the body.  You begin with the Skeletal System and work your way through the others.  I like the Try This! sections in every chapter.  It gives your child hands on learning activities that support what is being taught. Our daughter loves hands on projects and this is just one reason she loves the Apologia curriculum.   

     I also added some fun little activities of our own like building a skeleton during our first lesson. We were also blessed when we visited our local dollar store and found posters to coincide with our lessons.  

      I can't express how awesome this curriculum is. As Christians we appreciate that they teach our children Bible based Creation Science. Our children are not blind to the evolution theory or other teachings, but we want to strengthen their faith by making sure they see God in every aspect of His Creation.  We want to give them a firm foundation in Christ on every level of their education.  Apologia helps us do that.  

     I would encourage you to check out the Apologia website or their social media pages listed below:

     They also have a great video explaining the Young Explorer Series here

     If you are like me, you enjoy reading reviews that real families write and we have those for you over on the Homeschool Review Crew website. So go get a snack and drink and relax while reading these open and honest reviews 😊

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Reviews

Monday, April 16, 2018

Time Management {Free Printables}

     Our time is so precious.  Each moment is a blessing from the Lord.  Our very next breath is a gift.  How we spend our time is important.  I use to spend a lot of time doing things that was not productive.  I was convicted of it a few years ago.  God began to show me where my time would be better spent.  I actually started studying the Proverbs 31 woman and saw that she spent her time very wisely.  She spent it taking care of her family and household, serving others, and she always took time to be in the presence of the Lord.   She knew that her relationship with God is what made her capable of being a good mom, wife, and friend.  

     I wanted to be like this woman in Proverbs.  I started striving for similar goals she had.  I learned how we spend each minute is a reflection of our purpose in life.  If we spend time just watching TV, playing games on our devices, or talking on our phones, we are not being productive for the Kingdom of God.  When we use our time to witness, help and encourage others, and teach about God's Word, our purpose in life is just what God had planned.  He wants us to share His love with the world.  

       The Lord wakes us up each morning and how we spend those next 24 hours should glorify Him.  

      I have a few questions to ask you.   Where do you spend most of your time?  Do you give God the time He deserves by spending time in His Word and praying each day?  Are you disciplined about the time you spend with your electronic devices?  Do you put down everything to talk with your children?  Do you purpose to spend time with your spouse just communicating about your lives?

      I have found that the best way to manage my time is to have a schedule written out for the day.  I don't think we should be rigid with our schedules as God may have plans for us to follow that is not our own, but we should have a tentative agenda to follow.  We need to have a plan so our days will have a direction.   We want to accomplish what God has for us, instead of just vegging out and being unproductive.  

     Another way to manage our time is to have a home that is organized so we are not running around looking for things and wasting time.   

       At one point in time, we had 8 people living in our very modest home.  We don't have a lot of space so what we do with the space we have is important for the sanity of our family.  Today we only have 5 living under this roof, but I still find that we have to stay organized to keep order.   Do you enjoy organizing?  I love it!  I find having a place for everything helps me keep a clear mind.  

      Let me give you a peak into our day......I want to share how we keep our home tidy and clean while homeschooling each day.  I have to say that our home is never spotless.  If you came into our home on a typical day you would see books all around, toys on the floor, dishes in the sink and crumbs that need swept up, but we do have times of the day we do quick clean ups.  This insures that our home doesn't get out of control with clutter and dirt.

     Our day starts out with everyone making beds and putting laundry into the appropriate bins.  I have morning checklists for the younger ones to follow so they do not get distracted.  After we get dressed, eat and brush our hair and teeth, each of us has a chore to accomplish.  Right now I am on kitchen clean up, planning, and cooking all of the meals.  Our 18 year old son is on laundry duty and does 2 loads a day.  Our 13 year old son cleans the bathroom and takes out the trash daily.  Our 10 year old daughter vacuums the living room, and puts away items that are out of place. 

     Once we get our morning chores finished, we are off to do school.  We try to stay focused on school and we don't worry about chores again until school is done.  Around 2 or 3 we do our afternoon tidy time.  We put school books and activities away, tidy up areas that got messy, and do dishes from our lunch time.

      We usually have dinner around 5 each evening and then hubby delegates kitchen clean up chores after we finish.  Mama gets a little break because she cooked the meal. After that is done, we all have free time to do what we want to do.  Most evenings we have activities or games we play, unless there is a scheduled activity outside of the home.

      On Saturday's we do more in depth cleaning like mopping floors, dusting baseboards,  cleaning the refrigerator, sweeping the patios,  and vacuuming all areas that got missed during the week.  We also wash bedding on the weekends and mow the lawn.  Every couple of months we wash windows, clean curtains, dust pictures on the walls, and steam clean any carpets in need of a good shampooing.  Our goal is to give each room a thorough cleaning twice a year. 

    The main thing in keeping our homes clean is organization and routines.  If we all work together, our home will stay neat and tidy so we can be hospitable and invite others into our homes at a moments notice, and we aren't searching for what we need all day. Our  homes do not have to be immaculate to be clean.  We don't need to spend countless hours cleaning, we just have to keep on top of things each day.

    Here are our free chore and calendar pages that we have.  
To download the, just click on the links below the images. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Princess Cut

     Once a month the guys and the gals split up and have a movie night in our home.  The guys like to watch sci-fi or adventure movies and the gals like to watch a mystery or romance movie. We usually only watch old movies or shows, but last month was special for the girls. We had the opportunity to watch Princess Cut from Watchman Pictures. We were sent the DVD of this movie to review and we couldn't have been more happy to do so.  

     It is so hard to find a good romance movie that doesn't have any crude jokes or inappropriate scenes, but this movie had all the romance without the unacceptable material that we don't want to see or hear.  This movie can be watched by the youngest of viewers without me worrying.  That is such a blessing to me. I also appreciated that they went out of their way to teach good Christian morals and values throughout the movie. I can't wait to tell my friends about it and let them know that this is a safe movie for them to watch with their family. 

     Many of the problems that come up in the movie are like the issues our teens and young people deal with as they grow up. Our Christian young ones want to remain pure for marriage. They want to find a mate that has the same values as they do. They need their parents to gently guide them along the way. They want God to be glorified with their choices. Each one of these needs/wants are shown in this movie in a way that is real and open.  They did a great job addressing these problems our youth face each and every day. I will encourage friends and family to watch this movie with their children and I know it will spark conversations that many families may be afraid to talk about.  

     So let's talk about what Princess Cut is all about. It begins with a young woman named Grace who is dreaming of the day she gets engaged.  She loves diamonds that are princess cut and finds herself looking at them in a jewelry store. There is only one problem.... she can't seem to find the right man to fill the shoes of the man of her dreams.  She wants a man who values purity before marriage just like her.  Grace has given her heart to a few guys that she thought was her dream man only to find they weren't who she thought they were. She was ready to give up on guys but instead gives her dating relationship to God and allows Him to show her what is best for her. 

     Along the journey to find Mr. Right, you see Grace's parents wanting to help her.  I like that you see a real relationship between parent and child in this movie. The parents are far from perfect but you see them trying to work through things so they can communicate love and support. Isn't that what we all want to do?  We want to show our love and support while helping to navigate our children through rough patches of life.  I really enjoyed seeing this portrayed in this movie.  

      I don't want to say much more because I feel this movie needs to be watched to be appreciated by its viewers.  All I can say it that it is worth watching and I think you will enjoy it. If you like Christian movies that have good values this one is one you won't want to miss.  If you like romance without garbage added, this will not disappoint.  I am so glad we were given the chance to watch it and let you all know how great it is.  

     Want a sneak peak of this movie? 
 Check out the You Tube trailer below 


     If you want more information, I would encourage you to visit their website or their social media pages listed below: 

     We also have some more reviews for this movie over here

Princess Cut {Watchman Pictures Reviews}
I hope you have a great day!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of First Form Latin

     I have to be honest and tell you that when my daughter found out that she would be taking a course in Latin for us to review, she was not happy about it.  In fact she moaned and groaned until it arrived.  Once we opened up the box and looked through the set, her attitude changed a bit.  First Form Latin set from Memoria Press is unlike other curriculum. 

      Their sets make learning fun.  They come with a Student Workbook, Student Text, DVD, CD, Flash Cards, Teacher Manuals, and Teacher Keys. When Hope saw the flash cards she immediately remembered when she did some of the American History courses from Memoria Press, and she wasn't so apprehensive about taking Latin.  She knew that she would be learning but it wouldn't be a chore.  It would be entertaining and educational at the same time.  

     As I was looking through the materials I saw that the workbook contained five units with 5 to 8 lessons in each unit.  I saw that we would be learning verbs and the six attributes of a Latin verb.  As the lessons progress, we would be taught nouns and adjectives their attributes. I studied the lessons and saw that the student text is the companion to the workbook and must be read before using the workbook.  It is also important to watch the DVD and listen to the CD with the correct pronunciations of the words as you work through each lesson.  This set works together to teach Latin in a way I have never learned a language before.  

     On day one, we put in the DVD to watch. It was crazy because once our instructor started talking, it wasn't just Hope and I in the room anymore.  My sons came in to join us.  They wanted to learn too.  The teacher was not a bore. He makes learning to speak Latin an interesting endeavor.  Within a week, my kids were speaking and comparing words we use today with the Latin words they were learning. 

      Even though we were all learning together, Hope was the one working through the student textbook and workbook. She loves seeing her work.  Workbooks always give her a sense of accomplishment.  I like seeing her progress too. Workbooks not only teach what you are learning, they help teach handwriting as well.  I love getting more practice with one subject as we learn another. 

     As we went over each lesson, we would write out some of the words we were learning on our chalkboard.  I believe repetition is the best way to study a new language or subject.   That is why the DVD for this set is so wonderful.  It also taught repetition is great for remembering the words we were learning to translate and conjugate.  

     The flash cards included in this set also aids in helping us memorize and retain the information we are learning.  We added them to our morning basket routine and had a lot of fun going over them on a daily basis.  Sometimes we would make a game with them and see who remembered the most from the previous lessons.  Our family is so happy with the results we are seeing from this amazing Latin course. 

     I encourage you to check out this wonderful set and the many other sets from Memoria Press. You can look over their website or visit their social media pages listed below:

     We also have more reviews for this set and a few others over here 

Spelling, Music Appreciation & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}
      Thanks for taking time to read our review.  Have a blessed day!!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

I Am Determined!

     When we began the new year, most of us made goals for our lives.  There are many areas where we would like to see change.  It may be in our marriages, our physical bodies, our emotional health, or even our spiritual life.  In order to meet these goals we have set out to reach, we must have the character quality of determination. 

     Determination is defined by a fixed purpose or intention.  We have set our hearts and minds towards accomplishing our goals. When we have our minds set on a task, we have to see it through. 

     The word for determination that we see used often in the Bible is purposed.  This word as a verb means to resolve to do something or to meet ones goals or target.  God wants us to make plans that are in accordance with His will and He wants us to work hard to accomplish these plans.  He also says He will give us strength so we can finish the race He has set before us.  

     In order to develop the character quality of determination, we must understand that it will take hard work.  We have to be intentional in exerting as much energy as we need to accomplish our goals and plans.  When we do fail, we can not give up.  We must press on!  Get right back on track and go forward.  

    In our lifetime, we have to make many choices.  We have to be determined to make the right choice. It may mean going against the world's view of things, but we must purpose to choose what will please God not man.   We must not get distracted with the treasures of this world.  We must look towards the eternal prize that is waiting for us in heaven. We have to realize that determining to follow Christ may cost us, but it will be worth it in the end!

     So, how do we keep our hearts and minds on our goals? 
  1.  We must pray and ask God to help us. 
  2.  We must seek God with our whole hearts. 
  3.  We have to allow Him to work in our lives.
  4.  We can't allow the world's views to hinder our purpose. Don't be double minded.
  5.  We must set out to please God not man.
  6.  We have to acknowledge that it takes hard work to meet our goals. 
  7.  Write out your goals and keep them some place you can see them everyday.
     Our children will follow in our footsteps.  If they see us making and meeting goals for our lives, they will want to do the same.  We have to show them our determination.  They must not see us giving up when things get hard.  When we do fail, it's important to allow them to see us try again.  It's not the failure they will remember, it is the fact that mom or dad didn't quit. 



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Homeschool Diploma

     In June of this year, we will be graduating our fourth child.  He is such a blessing to our home.  His servant's heart and love for Christ has always been an inspiration for me.  He has taught me so much. We wanted to do something special for his graduation so I was so excited when we were chosen to receive and review a beautiful Standard Diploma from Homeschool Diploma. This site is amazing! They offer such amazing products for homeschooling students.

     When we opened the high school diploma, I was delighted.  It was gorgeous. The diploma cover is padded and lined with silk moire on both inside panels.  The seal and wording on the front is gold foil and you can see that it is made of durable material that will last. When we ordered, our son chose to get the 8 1/2 X 11 pre-stamped cover that had the "Soli Deo Gloria" seal. I love it!  He loves it! He can't wait to show it to his siblings. 

     The certificate is just as impressive. Ryan wanted the Personalized Diploma, so he could add a Bible verse, our schools name, customized wording, and a seal. He was also able to pick the font he wanted. Being a person of detail, this was very important for him. I think it turned out great!!! I was also glad that we could add a honors seal for him.  He has worked so hard to get to this point and deserves to be recognized for it. 

     We can't wait to give him this diploma officially in June. We will have a little personal ceremony with close family and friends attending. He does not like being the center of attention so that is why we opted not to get him a cap and gown for the festivities, even though the caps and gowns from this company looks wonderful. He is a humble young man who would rather be behind the scenes than out in front of everyone.  We respect that and will try to celebrate his day without embarrassing him. 

     I would encourage you to go check out this site. If you need anything from Kindergarten diplomas to class rings, this company makes high quality items that can be used when your child graduates from one season of life to another. I was impressed with all the products they offer for homeschooling families. I only wish I had heard of them when my older 3 were still in school.  I know we will be using them for future purchases. Our youngest son already has his cap and gown picked out that he wants us to purchase for him. 

     Would you like to learn more about this company?  Here are the links to their site and social media pages: 
  • Homeschool Diploma-https://www.homeschooldiploma.com/

     We also have some more reviews of this product and others from Homeschool Diploma over on the Homeschool Review Crew website 

Kindergarten Graduation and Junior High Diploma for your Homeschool  {Homeschool Diploma Reviews}
Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of the Snow Unit Study from Creation Illustrated

     I have always been intrigued with snow.  My kids love to see snow falling from the sky and enjoy playing in it. We were happy when we were picked to receive and review the Snow Unit Study from Creation Illustrated.  We didn't know what to expect from the Unit Studies, but we have read the Creation Illustrated magazine in the past and enjoyed it very much.

     Creation Illustrated magazine has been in publication for almost 25 years. Each issue is full of beautiful pictures and educational articles about God's gorgeous creations.  Each page is full of vibrant colors that will be sure to catch your eye along with the eyes of your children.  They will want to read it. They will enjoy learning about nature as well as important lessons about character, worship and their Creator.

      Right now the magazine is available in quarterly print editions that you can subscribe to for only $14.95 per year, but they will soon be offering a digital version that you will be able to subscribe to as well.  I prefer a print edition because I enjoy holding a book or magazine in my hands and it is easier for us to use for our family, but I know lots of families who are low in space and love having digital copies of books and magazines.  

     Each one of the magazines give homeschooling families many articles to focus on and study. The unit studies, that Creation Illustrated offer, make studying even easier.  We were given the Snow Unit Study to work with.  After reading the corresponding article titled The Intricacies of Snow, found in the Winter 2018 edition of Creation Illustrated, we worked through the 17 page printable unit study and we loved it!
          From the beginning of the study to the end you are learning about snow in a unique way.  The unit study includes: 
  • List of Reading Resources
  • Links to Education Videos
  • Pages that teach about snow through:
           - Writing and Penmanship
           - Vocabulary and Spelling
           - Bible Study
           - Science
           - Math
           - Geography
           - Art
  • Puzzles and Activities
  • Teacher Answer Keys

      My daughter loved the geography and art sections best.  She learned about where the most snow falls in the world and about the different shapes that each snowflake may take on.  I never realized how many classifications there are for snowflakes.  It was very educational for both of us.  

     If you and your family love to study nature, this may be a great fit for your household.  I would encourage you to check out their website Creation Illustrated and their social media pages listed below: 

     If you are like me, you love to read how other families use curriculum like this. Along with reviews of this unit study on snow, we have reviews of one other unit study titled Pine Trees

     In the Pine Trees Unit Study, your children will learn in detail about the unique qualities of the pine tree. They will study the verses where these amazing trees are mentioned in the Bible and where these trees can be found.  The article that corresponds with this unit study can be found in the Fall 2017 Edition of Creation Illustrated. 

     So go grab a cup of coffee and relax as you read these wonderful reviews over here
Creation Illustrated Unit Studies {Creation Illustrated Reviews}

     I know you won't be disappointed.  

     HEY BEFORE YOU LEAVE..... I have to let you know that the new Spring Edition 2018 is available now.  I can't wait to read it! 

     Have a blessed week!!!