Just Being Us

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

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}

Friday, October 5, 2018

Encouraging Your Child When They Want to Give Up

    Recently my children gave me this cup for my morning coffee. As I read what it said, I was reminded once again how important it is to encourage our children.  Are we inspiring them to be all they can be? Do we support them as they follow God's plan for their life? Are we able to give them the help they need to push through and finish a difficult task?

     Sometimes our children struggle in areas and we allow them to give up too soon.  As parents, we need to be sure that we are not letting our children quit just because there is some discomfort involved.  In order for our kids to make it in this world, they must realize that there are going to be times where they want to throw in the towel, but it's crucial to be sure that they are not giving up for the wrong reasons. We need to teach them that God will give them strength to finish what they have started if it is in His will. They need to learn to rely on Him and not their own abilities.  

     Over the years I have failed in this area a few times. I didn't realize that it was okay to see my children struggle as long as I was there to cheer them on.  I wanted to rescue them.  I didn't understand that letting them go through would be what strengthened them for the next battle they would endure.  Now I know that its critical for me to let them work through difficulties in order for them to grow.  

      God our Father has shown me that He is the same way. He allows me to go through rough times so I can become stronger.  He doesn't swoop in to rescue me but instead encourages me to push through.  He knows it will build my faith and I will be stronger for the next battle I face.  

      So today I challenge you to become your child's biggest fan.  Cheer them on when you see them struggling. Don't let them quit just because things get hard. Give them the support they need to finish what they have started.  Pray with them. Let them know that as long as they trust in God, He will be with them through everything they go through, good or bad.  Our greatest job as a parent is to point our children towards Christ.  He will supply them with all they need.  As they walk in obedience to Him, He will guide them in all they do.  


Thursday, October 4, 2018

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW : Our Review of Books of the Bible At-a-Glance

     We love to study God's Word as a family on a daily basis.  It is so hard to find a Bible study that fits all the ages of our household.  I was so excited when we were chosen to receive and review Books of the Bible At-a-Glance from Teach Sunday School.  I knew that we would all benefit from this particular study after I read about it online.  

     This Bible study is unlike any other one we have done in the past.  We are learning about each book of the Bible.  Each printable sheet includes:
  • Book Title
  • Book Number and Placement
  • Author
  • Date Book Was Written
  • Time Period Covered
  • Claims To Fame
  • Famous Stories Included
  • Most Famous Verses
  • Important Points About The Book
     It takes us about 25-30 minutes each day to go over one book of the Bible.  We take time to read each section and discuss it.  It has brought up some interesting conversations about stories we have heard before, but now see in a different light. 
     Knowing more about the book you are reading is important. The kids like knowing the time period each book is set in and who wrote it.  It brings a new dimension to the stories found in each book.  They also enjoyed going over their favorite Bible stories they use to hear often as they were growing up.  Now that they are older they like to dig into the scriptures and this resource is helping them do just that. 

      This study is so versatile.  You can use it by itself or in conjunction with other Bible studies.  After we have gone through each book of the Bible once, we will be using these sheets to help us with our other family Bible studies.  I think they will serve to remind us of so many wonderful facts.  I want my kids to memorize all the amazing information on these sheets so they can be more knowledgeable of God's Word and able to answer questions that others may ask them.  

     So you are probably wondering... How much does this product cost?  Well let me tell you that it is worth so much more than the $19.99 that you will be paying for it.  It is a download that you can print and use for single church use or household use.  You can print as many copies as you need for your Sunday School class, small group or for personal use.  Isn't that AMAZING!!!!  But that's not all they offer.... there is also a 60 day unconditional money back guarantee!   Can you believe that?  That means this company has integrity and believes in their product.  

     I encourage you to check out their website or visit their social media pages listed below: 

     Our crew has more reviews for you to enjoy reading over here 

Books of the Bible At-a-Glance { Teach Sunday School Reviews}


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of Forensic Faith for Kids

     A few years ago, I decided that above all other subjects, the Bible would be our main focus.  When we were chosen to receive and review Case Makers Academy's  Forensic Faith for Kids provided by David C Cook, I was thrilled.  It is so important for kids to dive into God's Word and search the scriptures in order for them to be able to share it with everyone they know.  

     Forensic Faith for Kids is a soft cover book written by J Warner Wallace, a cold case homicide detective, and his wife Sara Wallace.  This 144 page book will intrigue your children with a mystery that will help them explore their faith as well as find a missing puppy.  I love a good mystery.  How about you? 

     Our son enjoys mysteries and is very curious right now, so I decided this would be a great book for him to study during his Bible study time. Within just a couple of days, he was hooked.  He loved sitting down to read and learn ways to share his faith with friends and family.  He loves Jesus, but sometimes he gets tripped up on his words when he tries to share about Him.  This book gave him the skills necessary to tell others about Christ.  

     When I asked Josh what he loved most about the book he said he liked the way the book kept his attention.  A boy with ADHD has a hard time sitting to read anything, so this is huge for him.  He said he didn't lose focus while reading it.  He wanted to learn more.  It was fun and engaging.  He loves using his investigative mind so this was a great fit for him.  

     I love that this book corresponds with the adult version titled Forensic Faith.  It follows the same chapter sequence so parents and kids can discuss what is going on and talk about the evidence together.  What a great way for parents and children to examine their faith as a family and more importantly learn how to share about their love for Christ with everyone they come in contact with.  

    Another great resource for children is the online Case Makers Academy.  Here they can go chapter by chapter to learn more and more about sharing their faith.  The videos, activity sheets and notebook sheets give kids the knowledge they need to go out into the world and share about God.  Josh loved this part most as he is a computer guy. 
     I liked that they have a leader's guide also.  They really thought of everything! Everything about this book and website impressed me.  

     Would you like to learn more about these resources?  I encourage you to check out their website pages along with their Facebook page. 

     We also have more reviews of this wonderful book over here 
Forensic Faith for Kids {David C Cook  and  Case Makers Academy Reviews}

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

God Cares For You! {Free Printable Included}

     There have been times in my life when I have felt like no one really cared for me.  I have felt alone. I have felt disappointed.  I have felt unworthy.  Have you ever felt this way? I think we have all been through these feelings at one point in our lives. 

     Before I walked with my Savior, these feelings were frequent.  I never felt unconditional love until I really knew the love of the Father.  Even when man fails to love me, He is there to show me a love that is never failing.  Even when I fail Him, He is there to remind me that He loves and cares for me.  I don't have to do anything but receive His love.  It is not based on my works or good deeds. It isn't taken away because I mess up.  It is truly unconditional and everlasting.  
     Many people expect us to do things for them, then they give us affection.  God is not like that. He doesn't make us perform.  He just loves us freely.  How awesome is that?!?!  He loves us so much that He was willing to give His only Son to die for us. He wanted to make a way of salvation so that if we believe, we can spend eternity with Him.  He just wants a real relationship with us.  

      I am filled with joy when I think of God's amazing love and grace.  If I didn't have His love, I would be a very sad woman.  See, things of this world will never bring us true joy.  Even the love we receive from people is not enough for our soul, but the love of Christ is enough.  It fills the empty places in our hearts.  It gives us hope.   

     Even though I still have days where I feel like some people do not care for me, I have the promise of God's never ending love.  He cares for me!  He cares for YOU!  He will always be there. All we need to do is love Him, spend time with Him, and accept His infinite love.

     Here is a free image for you to save and print to help remind you that God cares for you ❤

Just right click on the image and choose save image as... 
You can then print it from your computer 😊

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


     I have always enjoyed math class.  It was fun for me.  I like puzzles and figuring out the answers to tough problems. A few of my kids enjoy math like me, but the others need more than just a textbook.  That is why I was happy to receive and review the family membership to I Know It.  

     I Know It is an online program that will help your elementary aged children to practice their math skills. This program is for grades ranging from Kindergarten to the 5th grade.  My daughter just entered the 6th grade, but is finding this resource to be helpful in reacquainting her with math skills she has already been taught throughout her elementary school years.  

     This online program was easy to set up and log in to.  We didn't have any issues at all.  Once signed in, I set up a parent account and a student account for Hope.  Like I said, she is in the 6th grade so we chose for her to brush up on her 5th grade math skills before heading into her new 6th grade workbook for this school year.  

      There are so many different skill that you can work on.  The 5th grade sections includes:

  • Place Value
  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Basic Math Fact Drills
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Word Problems
  • Graph and Data
  • Basic Algebra
  • Fractions, Decimals, and Percents
  • Operations with Fractions
  • Geometry
  • Measurements

     I was impressed with how much it had to offer each grade level and how easy it was to assign lessons to each of your students.  In settings you get choose how many hints your child will receive with each question and how your child see their scores.  You can even allow your child to do other lessons on their own.  It is so versatile!  I love that when using online programs.  

     Hope enjoyed being able to learn different math skills everyday.  She doesn't like repeating one skill over and over.  One day she would be doing multiplication and the next she would be doing measurement.  She loves it.  It helps keep her engaged when she can learn different skills throughout the week instead of just one.  Her favorite skill to do is measurements. 

     I loved watching her do the basic math fact drills.  She loves races, so when given an time limit to do so many problems, she gets excited and really works hard to do her best.  She makes me giggle when I see how intent she is to get all the answers right and to get more questions completed each time she does them.  Here is a look at one of her progress reports so you can see what they look like.  I love how they are set up.  

     Do you have a child that struggles with math?  Would they improve with some practice?  I know Hope has improved a lot during the time she has been working through this program.  I think this online resource would help any child who needs to brush up on skills or practice skills they are having issues with.
    What if I told you that you could get a FREE TRIAL by going to https://www.iknowit.com/sign-up.html.  This is a 60 day unlimited access trial.  You can see how awesome this program is for yourself.  What an great deal!!!!

     You can learn more about this program over on their social media pages listed below: 
     We also have more reviews for you to read over here

Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade {I Know It Reviews}

Monday, September 24, 2018

So, I Can't Bake An Apple Pie {Free Bookmark Printable}

     A few years ago I thought that I had to be able to do everything in order to be a good homeschool mom and wife. I would get upset with myself because I couldn't sew, bake, or can fruits and vegetables.  I would see other women doing it and I felt like a failure. Pinterest pins would send me into a depression.  It made me feel so inadequate. I was not a "SUPERMOM" like all the other moms I was following on social media.  
     What was wrong with me?  Why couldn't I bake a perfect apple pie with homemade ice cream on the side?  Why couldn't I make a perfect little dress for my little girl?  I'll tell you why..... its
because I am not called to do those things.  They are not on my list of gifts that the Lord gave to me.  He made me who I am and He equipped me for the things He has called me to do.  

     The Lord has a purpose for us.  He doesn't give everyone the same gifts and talents because that would not provide us with the tools to meet the goals He has for us. I quickly learned that if you try to do it all, you won't be able to do anything with excellence. You get burned out.  You question your abilities.  Instead of walking out the purpose God has for you right now, you go down a trail of disappointments.  Why? I believe its because God only furnishes us with what we need for the particular season we are in. He may change our skills throughout life so they will be conducive to the mission He calls us to carry out, but for now we need to rest in knowing we are doing just what we are suppose to be doing and that God will never fail to give us what we need to get it done.

     One of my favorite quotes on this subject is found in the book The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst: “Like a tree, a woman can’t carry the weight of two seasons simultaneously. In the violent struggle of trying, she’ll miss every bit of joy each season promises to bring.”  Can I get an Amen here?  Are you tired of trying to carry out things that you are not designed for? 

     It is time to break free from the "Supermom" mentality.I had to come to the realization that what I was believing in my head just wasn't true.  There is no one who can do everything perfectly.  I had to realize that the posts and pins I was reading were women with different callings than mine.  They were making dresses while I was writing an article.  They were baking pies while I was teaching my children.  They enjoyed canning while I enjoyed organizing my cabinets in the kitchen.  

      Could you imagine a world where there was no diversity in skills and  expertise?  Well that just wouldn't work well would it? God knew we would all need particular abilities for the sake of the call on our lives.  My favorite verse on purpose is Proverbs 19:21. "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."  God has a good plan for each of us.  We just need to follow Him and allow Him to guide us along the way. 

      Are you ready to eliminate the frustrations of trying to live up to the expectations in your mind? Are you ready to live a life that is free to accomplish the goals you are equipped for?  Give yourself grace and just be who God called you to be!!!!  

      Here are some great bookmarks for you to print out.  I hope they are a blessing to you. 

To print these out just hover over the image, right click
 and choose "save image as..."