Just Being Us

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

Getting Real about Time-outs for Mama

     Okay so let's be honest.... Mommies need time-outs too!  We need breaks so we can get our thoughts together.  We need quiet time to recuperate from the hustle and bustle of the mommy world. If we do not get this time, we feel burned out and unable to be the mothers we know we should be.  

   I want to give you three warning signs that you are headed for disaster if you don't take some time-outs.  These are from personal experience and I pray you learn from my mistakes.

  1.   If you are feeling sick, worn down, or excessively tired almost to the brink of a collapse, you need to ask someone for help.  You need to talk to your husband and let him know that you are not feeling well. If you allow yourself to get too depleted you will be no good to anyone.  If you are drained, you could be doing physical harm to your body and that is never good. It's important for us to rest.
  2.    If you are feeling frustrated or irritable, it's time for you to take a few minutes to cool down. It doesn't have to be a long time-out, just long enough for you to feel in control of your emotions again.  
  3.    If you are feeling overly critical of everyone in your home, you need to step back and regroup.  

     Now let's talk about some ways you can get that mommy time-out.

  1.    Take time to lay down and recuperate if you are feeling ill or drained physically. Allow your husband to take over things in the house or hire a babysitter so you can get the rest you need to heal.  Many of us have friends we can call upon, but we feel that would make us look like bad moms, but honestly that is just a pride issue.  We all get sick and we all need time to heal when we do.  
  2.    When you are feeling drained emotionally or spiritually, you need to find time to be quiet and alone with the Lord.  You can get up before the kids, or stay up a little later in the evenings, but please do not neglect your time with God.  You will find that praying and reading your Bible will strengthen you and help you be the mom you want to be.  
  3.    During the daytime hours when you can't get away, and are in the middle of a melt down, just simply sit down somewhere and gather yourself.  Remind yourself that this too shall pass. Your children will grow and things will not always be as crazy and hectic.  Also remember that what you say today will have a long term significance in the lives of your children tomorrow. Don't allow a critical spirit to make scars that may not be seen, but leave permanent marks.  

   Let me be real here.  As a young mom, I failed at every suggestion I just gave you.  I didn't want help, I didn't think I needed help and I thought I could handle it all.  I didn't take time to rejuvenate, and it left me feeling empty. In turn, I was an overly critical mom with a bad attitude.  My kids didn't have a mom that parented with grace, they had one who parented with an iron fist. When I finally figured out that I needed moments of rest, relaxation and recuperation, my older three were already blemished. When God revealed to me that I need to ask their forgiveness, I did that, but that did not erase the "scars".   Physically they were fine, but emotionally they were tarnished.  

    I pray that anyone reading this will glean from my past and stop trying to be "Super Mom" and instead become a super mom.  Give yourself grace and allow those times of rest to replenish you so you can be mom your kids deserve.  


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Planet 316 Story Bible and App

     As a family we love reading God's Word together.  We try to have family devotions every evening.  I think it helps bring us together in a special way.  I was excited to receive and review the Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App from Planet 316 and Worthy Kids/Ideals. I knew this Story Bible would be one that families everywhere could enjoy together.  It would bring the Bible to life and allow young ones (and even older ones) see Bible stories in a new way.  

     When it came in the mail, I was not the first one to grab it.  It was our 10 year old daughter.  I wasn't sure she would like this as it is geared for younger ones, but she couldn't wait to try it out and was mesmerized with it for quite a while. 

     So what makes this Story Bible stand out from others?  It is the Augmented Reality!  When you download the app for your android or apple phones or tablets, these pages come to life right in front of your eyes.  We have an iPhone 8 and an iPad 6th generation, and the app works perfectly on these devices.  The instructions are simple to follow.  Even a small child can use this app with ease.  When you open the Bible and scan the pages with the app from your phone or tablet, the images in the Story Bible start to move, and some pages even have special sounds to go along with the story.  It is really amazing!!! 

     The Story Bible book is a hardback book with over 100 stories included.  The pages are full of colorful images that are so beautiful for children to look at.  The stories are great and keep your child's focus.  I had the opportunity to read some of the stories and show the app to some little ones we know, and they loved it.  The smiles on their little faces were adorable as they listened to the stories and watched the images pop off the pages.  I wish we would have had this when all our kids were little.    

     If you have little ones or even older ones that just love hearing Bible stories, this could be a great fit for your family.  You can let them use it individually or you can use it for your family devotion time.  You won't be disappointed!  

     If you would like to learn more about this product and others, I would visit the Planet 316 website or their social media pages listed below: 

     Would you like to read more reviews of this amazing resource?  Grab a cup of coffee and maybe a cookie and head on over here 👇

Planet 316 Story Bible and Bible App {Planet 316 Reviews}

Have a great Wednesday!!!

Remember to enjoy the little things!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of A+ Interactive Math

     Do you have a tough time teaching math to your homeschool students? I know it can be a challenge for most families.  In our home, we have had only a couple of our kids who actually loved math class.  The other four needed a little more instruction and motivation to learn. When we were chosen to receive and review a year subscription to the  Family Math Package from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.), I was excited to see how this could help our youngest child become more proficient at math.  I had read good things about this program and was looking forward to checking it out for ourselves.  

     I have always wanted to have a math program that allowed our children to work more independently, and this resource gives me that.  The Family Math Package allows you to pick what grade level (Grades 1-6 & Pre-Algebra & Algebra) that you would like your child to complete, then they are given a lesson plan to follow right there on their screen. If you see the work is too hard or too easy, you can mix things up and go on to the next lesson or grade level. The site is easy to navigate and it allows the parent to see the progress of their children. It is so versatile!

    I love how you can buy what Family Package that best fits your needs. It is so budget friendly. They have other plans available, but I feel the best option is the yearly subscription.  You can buy a yearly subscription for up to 10 students. The pricing is based on the number of children working through the program. However, you will see the price stays the same if you have 2 or more students.  How awesome is that?  When we had 6 kiddos in our homeschool, this would have been an answer to prayer. 

     When we first logged on, I was impressed with the amount of  resources offered.  Each level gives video instructions, interactive reviews, online or printable worksheets, quizzes, and tests.  We chose to do everything online but I did look through the printables and they are very well done. 

     At first, the site was a bit intimidating for our daughter, but once I showed her how to navigate through her lessons, she caught on very quickly and didn't need my help again.  I love being able to track her with my parent dashboard. I could see where she needed more work and where she was thriving. I like that it keeps track of her grades and log in days.  It takes some pressure off of me in our record keeping.  

     Below are some screenshots of the program.  You will see the lesson being taught in first image, then some images of the interactive questions and answers.

     I asked her if she was enjoying this program and she said YES! Okay if you knew her, you would know that I wasn't expecting a yes.  She typically doesn't care for math, but this program was different.  The instructors explain things very well and in a way a student can understand the concept being taught.  The interactive videos kept her focused on the task at hand.  She also liked being able to listen to the videos more than once if she struggled to understand the first time.  Overall I would say this program is a good fit for her.  I may even use it for our son once this school year ends and we begin our new one in July.  

     I highly encourage you to head on over to their website or check out their social media pages listed below: 
    Did I forget to mention you can get a free month to try it out right now to see if it is a good fit for your family!  No strings attached!  Just head on over HERE and get signed up.  

     If you would like to read more reviews of the Family Math Package or their Adaptive Math Curriculum  come on over to the Homeschool Review Crew site 
Family & Adaptive Math Online {A+ Interactive Math Reviews}

Have a blessed week!!!

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!!!!