Just Being Us

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

Friday, November 9, 2018

FREE Veterans Day Printables!!!


    Veteran's Day is coming up soon,  so I wanted to give you a free PDF to download and print. It's important for our children to understand why we take days to honor our soldiers past, present, and future. 

     Each day we must pray for those who fight for our freedoms and who sacrifice so much to do so. Some gave their very lives in order to give us the freedoms we have today. We need to love, support and encourage our military men and women. 

    Along with the free PDF, I have a challenge for you.  Find a way to thank a Veteran this weekend. Get creative!  If you personally know a Veteran, do something special for them.  If you don't, find a way to honor them today or tomorrow. One way to show your gratefulness is by making a contribution to an organization that helps our Veterans.  Be sure to do your research! I hope you will accept my challenge.  Have a blessed weekend!!!!!

To download this PDF file, just click on the link below the image.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Master Kitz The Starry Night

     Our daughter loves art.  After school, you will always find her doing something creative with her time.  She loves to draw, paint, sculpt, and do DIY projects she finds on the internet.  She was so excited when we were chosen to receive and review Master Kitz The Starry Night from Kidzaw.com.  We have never used a kit like this before, and were thrilled to be able to work through it.  

     When the kit arrived in the mail, I grabbed a quick picture of her with it and off to the kitchen she went.  She couldn't wait to open it and get started.  The easy to follow directions made this a creation she could do on her own without any help from mom.  She opened up the box to find: 
  • 3 different colors of paint
  • A customized Van Gogh paint roller
  • 5 Oil pastels 
  • 2 pieces of large art paper (16" x 20")
  • A customized stencil for this project
  • A sponge roller
  • Star mask sticker sheet
  • Van Gogh learning materials
     All these items come in a wonderful little box that can be used again and again to keep your art supplies safe and in one spot.  

     It didn't take her very long to begin to put the project together. She read the instructions then began to work on the painting. I sat with her so I could watch her little mind at work.  She started by taping down the art paper provided with the kit.  Our kitchen table is safe to do any craft you want, so she wasn't worried about her art space.

     After taping the paper, she placed the star mask stickers on to the designated areas of the project. She then got out the paint needed and the foam roller. It didn't take her long to get a very beautiful painting that would soon change into something even more fabulous.  Once the paint dried, she removed the star stickers.  It wasn't too hard, but did require some patience.  
    After placing the stencil onto the painting and taping it down so it didn't move around, she rolled on the black paint.  When she was sure it was dried and safe to remove, she peeled off the stencil and was surprised to see that it worked perfectly.  Some stencils we have used in the past didn't work as well as this one.  I have to say I was thrilled with the outcome.  

     After it sat overnight to be certain the paint was completely dry, she put on her finishing touches with the oil pastels.  She didn't want it to be just like Van Gogh's painting, so she did her own thing. She's funny like that.  Below is her finished painting. I think it turned out great! She had so much fun doing this and I had a lot of fun watching her.

     Do you have a little artist in your family that loves to paint?  Are they ages 3 and up? This may just be the kit for you!!!  Master Kitz The Starry Night is a great way to begin your painting experience.  I encourage you to check out their website along with their social media pages listed below: 

     We also have more reviews for you to read over here 

Master Kitz The Starry Night {Kidzaw.com Reviews}

Friday, November 2, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Balancing Diapers and Deadlines

     I don't know about you, but sometimes it can get very difficult to balance my work life with everything else I need to get done at home. When you leave your home to work, you can separate these two quite easily, but when you are at home and seeing things that need done there on a daily basis, it's hard to balance it all.  That is why when I was chosen to receive and review Balancing Diapers and Deadlines by Lisa Tanner Writing, I was very excited.  I couldn't wait to read how she has managed her home life with her home business for so many years.  
     Lisa Tanner is a homeschooling mom of 8 amazing kids.  She also works from home by doing freelance writing and a few other things to help pay the household bills.  I bet you are thinking... HOW DOES SHE DO IT ALL?  I can barely get my housework done and take care of the kids?  Well that is what this online course is all about.  It will help teach you how to balance it all. The course includes 30 lessons that are broken down into 8 sessions.  Here is what you can expect: 
  • Welcome to Balancing Diapers and Deadlines
  • Building Your Foundation with the Basics
  • Minimize Your Decisions
  • Minimize Your Decisions: The Annual Meal Plan
  • Sustainable Growth
  • Growing a Business with Your Kids Around
  • Boost Your Productivity
  • Closing Thoughts
     With each session, you will also get worksheets and ways to implement what is being taught.  Once you begin these sessions you won't want to stop.  So much wonderful advice and suggestions! 

      I have been homeschooling for over 20 years and trying to run a home business for the last few years.  Sometimes I could just pull my hair out trying to manage it all, but after taking this course, I feel more empowered to accomplish everything. Her encouragement is astounding. She is real and honest!  Just what I needed to reboot how I do things around here. The meal planning alone will change your life!!!!

     Have you wanted to supplement your family's income? Have you thought about making money to help send your children to college? Well with this course, you will be able to learn techniques that will help you make it happen. You won't be overwhelmed by the idea anymore.  Lisa will help walk you through the steps of starting and maintaining a home business, but also be able to take care of your children and home.  I know I will continue to use what I learned from this course for years to come.

     I encourage you to check out her website to see this course along with other wonderful products.  You can also check her out on these social media pages: 

     We have more reviews for you over here

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}


Friday, October 19, 2018

What If.....


     Yesterday I read a sign that said, “What if we only woke up with what we thanked God for yesterday?”  I know I have seen this quote before, but this time when I read it, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  It was almost immediately convicted of the way I complain about blessings that the Lord has given to us.  Instead of being thankful for what He has provided, I grumble because I must take care of these things. 

     For instance, when I complain about washing dishes, I am taking for granted the fact we have food to eat on them.  When I complain about washing our clothes, I am forgetting that there are many who would love to have our clothing to wear.  When I moan about doing errands, I am saying that I am not thankful for the van we drive and the money to purchase items we need.  Have you ever really thought about that?

     Next month is Thanksgiving. I have decided to take the rest of this month and next to write out things I am thankful for.  Even the little things like a hot cup of tea to warm me when it's cold outside is something to be grateful for.  What if we decided to express our gratitude instead of complaining?  How do you think that would change our days... weeks... months?  I think it would be life changing.

     So the next time you feel like grumbling, speak life instead.  Look around you.  Find something to be thankful for.  Stop and pray and show God how incredibly grateful you are for the things He has given to you.  Stop dwelling on what you don't have and begin praising God for what you do have. There are so many people who would love to have the blessings we have and yet we still gripe and moan about caring for the things we are fortunate to have.  

     I am going to focus on being positive and thankful.  Won't you join me? 

This is the verse I will think on every time
I am tempted to complain.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of St. Bartholomew's Eve

     Our family has become fans of the G.A. Henty audio dramas over the last year.  We were just thrilled when we were chosen to receive and review their newest production titled St. Bartholomew's Eve by Heirloom Audio.  We couldn't wait to receive our CD's in the mail.  I think our son wore a path to the mailbox waiting for them to come. 

    Heirloom Audio has taken audio dramas to new heights.  These stories are not only exciting, they encourage your children to use their imaginations.  They bring you right to the time period by using amazing actors and sound effects.  I can't explain how wonderful they are, and they are not just for kids.  Adults will love them as well.  I love the fact that they teach morals, values, and godly character.  As a parent that is very important to me.

     I could go on and on, but instead I have asked my 18 year old son Ryan to give you his opinion of these audios and a look into what St. Bartholomew's Eve is all about.  Here is what he had to say....

     St. Bartholomew's Eve is an amazing story. The voice acting made you feel like you were  a part of the adventure.  I love these Heirloom Audio productions. You know you will never be disappointed by the quality of them. These are stories I think every Christian should listen to.  It reminds us of how lucky we are to live in this country where we have the freedom to worship God. While there are some intense scenes in these audios, I don’t believe it is to rough for younger children.  I am not a young child anymore, but I enjoyed this a lot, and I think adults and children alike will enjoy this. I am a bit of a History nut.  I love different parts of history, including the era this story is set in. G.A Henty really was one of the best story tellers of historical events and Heirloom Audio preserves that. 

       Now, let me tell you a little bit about the story. The story starts out with a young man named Philip Fletcher, who is from England, visiting family in France.  He is there to help the Huguenots, a group of people seeking religious freedom. During this time period in France, you were only allowed to worship God as the traditional Catholics did.  

     As the story progresses, Philip gets close to his cousin, they become like brothers, fighting along side one another. As you get further into the drama, you will see it is full of twists and turns, showing people that even though it may cost them everything including their lives, serving the Lord is worth it. As a matter of fact at one part of the story all seems lost for the Huguenots, even though they were quite possibly about to die, they all sing a song of praise to the Lord. It brought tears to my eyes as I imagined what this scene would look like.  

    While there is plenty of  action throughout the story, they also include some emotional scenes. The characters and places are brought to life as you listen to this story. I couldn't stop listening and will listen to it again. 

     Wow, I don't think I could have said it any better.  You can tell my son is passionate about history and these audios.  His heart is soft and as he listens, he puts himself right there in the story.  Heirloom Audio makes it easy to get caught up in the story and I think that is awesome!  

     I encourage you to check out this audio as well as their others on their website or on their social media pages listed below: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeirloomAudio
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories
Google+: https://goo.gl/d8btpX
Instagram: @HeirloomAudioOfficial

       We also have some more review for you to read over here 

St. Bartholomew's Eve {Heirloom Audio Reviews}

     I would also like to share our other reviews of Heirloom Audio from our blog page.  Just click the links below to see what other adventures we have been able to review over the past year or so. As you read these reviews, you will see that right from the start, we loved these audio dramas and will continue to listen to them in the years to come.
Our Review of Wulf the Saxon
Our Review of In The Reign of Terror


Friday, October 12, 2018

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Season 6: Underground Rising from Brinkman Adventures

     Our family loves audio books and dramas.  We listen to them all the time while cooking, cleaning or while out driving doing errands or taking a trip. We are always excited to get new ones to listen to. so when we were chosen to receive and review the digital version of Season 6: Underground Rising from  Brinkman Adventures, we were very happy and couldn't wait to listen to them.  

     Last year we were given Season 4 of the Brinkman Adventures and we just fell in love with these amazing stories. Each are unique and help us learn how important it is to share our faith with others.  I believe they inspire us to become missionaries right where the Lord has us. We are here for a purpose and God wants us to spread the gospel near and far.

   As you listen, you will hear real stories told through the eyes of the fictional Brinkman family.  Each episode is about 25 to 30 minutes in length and will keep your interest. 

     Season 6 includes 6 episodes: 
  • Dutch Underground Part 1
  • Dutch Underground Part 2
  • Twice Born Fly
  • I Wonder Why
  • Free Burma Rangers Part 1
  • Free Burma Rangers Part 2
     In these adventures, you will use your imagination as you soar back to the time of World War 2 in the Netherlands, learn what it's like to serve as missionaries in India, and finally you will see what life was like for a Green Beret as he and his wife share the love of Christ in Burma.  

     As we listened to these stories, based on true events, our hearts were touched. My son Ryan made the comment that everyone should hear these stories so they can realize how awesome God is and how He can change lives through others. We were all brought to tears on more than one occasion as we listened to these episodes.  The sacrifice and dedication of these individuals allowed God to work in the lives of many.  

     Twice Born Fly was my favorite episode. We all have fear.  Some are afraid of the dark, others are afraid of spiders, and some are afraid of flying like Charlie in this episode.  What we forget is that if we are saved, not even death can separate us from our Savior.  It reminded me of the verse in Psalms.  The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? ~ Psalm 118:6   God will always be there for us.  He will never leave us.  We do not have to fear ANYTHING!!!  In this episode you will see a young man come to Christ and yes tears may flow.  He learns that he doesn't have to be afraid anymore.  My heart was overwhelmed with joy.  

     See how awesome these audios are? I encourage you to check out their website and their Facebook page for more information about this set and others.  

     We have some more reviews of this amazing resource over here 

Brinkman Adventures Season 6 Reviews

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of CashCrunch Careers

     Have you ever had your child ask you... "What career would be best for me?"   I know I have had a couple of my kiddos ask me that question.  It usually comes half way through their senior year in high school.  They are nervous about graduating and aren't quite sure what they want to do with their lives.  I wish I would have had a resource like the one we are reviewing today for them. 

    I am happy that we were able to receive and review CashCrunch Careers from CashCrunch Games just in time for our son Ryan to use as he searches for the career that will fit him best.  He just graduated in June, but is still not sure where God wants him yet.  We have been praying with him and for him.  During this time of prayer he is researching a couple of fields he feels drawn to.  When I told him about this program, he was so thrilled to have something to help him navigate to his perfect career.

   I also took the survey to see where it would put me if I chose to have a career after my children are all grown. I wasn't surprised with my outcome as I already had an idea where I would thrive as a person and employee.  I am best suited to be a manager.  That is what I do now... just inside our home 😉

     So what is this program???  CashCrunch Careers is an online site that helps students and adults choose a career path that is best suited for their strengths and weaknesses.  They do this by having you take a 75 question survey that allows you to pick attributes that best describe you.  When the survey is finished, you are given several different career paths that may be a good fit for you.  

     Once you complete the survey, you are assessed to see where your attributes will best serve you.  No one wants to go down a career path that doesn't fit who they are.  Ryan was very excited to see where he would do best and was a little surprised with his assessment.  He hadn't even thought of a few of the paths it said would be a good fit for him, and now has a better idea where he is headed. 

     I asked Ryan if he felt that this was a good estimate of his talents and character and he said yes.  He felt that every suggestion was something he could do and do well. He said each career recommendation was something he could accomplish with ease.  I think that is great! 

       Ryan is feeling more confident is who he is and where he would do well.  He has been praying about doing something in the law field.  Guess what was one of his suggestions???  YEP!  He now knows what type of law he should study that will use his strengths.  Here are just a few areas of study that was on his list.....

     As he searches each role in this career path he can look at what courses are needed, what colleges will be good, and a brief video of what the job entails.  It couldn't be easier to use. 

     If you, your husband, or child are looking for a career path, I would encourage you to check this site out. It is only $99.  That is well worth peace of mind when finding a job that best suits who you are and where you will be able to make a difference as you use your strengths and abilities God has given to you.  

     For more information you can check out their website CashCrunch Careers or their social media pages listed below: 

     There are also more reviews for you to read over here 

CashCrunch Careers {CashCrunch Games Reviews}