Just Being Us

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

Friday, September 4, 2020

Don't Pick the Bad Apple {Free Printables}


          Each day we have choices to make.  We must choose what foods to eat, what attitudes to have, and what friends to allow in our lives.  We have to keep in mind that our choices will either glorify God or they will please our sinful nature.  It's not always easy to choose what it right is it?  The world may look at us like we are weird if we choose to please God instead of man.  That is why it is so important to keep friends that will encourage us to be godly women and men.  If our close friends hold us accountable to do what is right, then we will have an easier time choosing what is good and right in the sight of God. 

 Proverbs 27:6 You can trust what your friend says, even when it hurts. But your enemies want to hurt you, even when they act nice.

     We need to be very cautious when making decisions.   A cautious person is one who plans.  As a Christian, we need to plan our lives based on the Word of God and His way to live.  We need to realize that we have a sinful nature and if we do not purpose to follow God's way, we will be tempted to sin and go our own way. 

     The plans of the diligent lead to
 profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. 
~ Proverbs 21:5

     How do we seek to be more cautious in our decision making?  By living a life that seeks God's wisdom and turns from our normal inclinations of wanting to sin.  When you have a decision to make, cry out to God for His guidance in the situation.  Put Him first in everything you do. 

     Another way to develop this character quality is by learning from others and seeking godly counsel.  Instead of making quick decisions, sit down and think through the consequences.  Maybe you know of someone who had already gone through a similar situation that you can talk to, or you can go to someone older and wiser and seek their godly wisdom.  That is why we need to keep friends that are willing to speak the truth in love to us.  Friends that are truly seeking God in their lives.  If we have friends who are not wanting to follow God's will for their life, they can lead us astray.  These friends are what we would call a bad apple.  Have you ever heard the saying "One bad apple can spoil the bunch"?  I believe that can be true because it says in 1 Corinthians 15:33: 

 Do not be misled: Bad company
 corrupts good character.

This verse is telling us that who we hang out with has an effect on our behavior.  That is why we need to choose our company wisely.  This doesn't mean we can't be around those who are making bad choices, they need us to be a good example to them and tell them about Jesus, but it is saying we need to be careful in who we allow to be our close personal friends.  You know the ones who give us advice and counsel.  The ones who we go to when we need help in our lives.  
     
      It is important to instill this character quality of cautiousness in your children at a young age, so they realize how important it is to seek God and His wisdom in decisions they make.  They need to be quick to listen to the advice of godly individuals like you, and they need to understand that God's ways are always the best ways.  They need to see you seeking God in everything. 

     I encourage you to pray about being more cautious with your choices, life, words and actions.  We represent Christ if we are saved, and we need to be a good witness for Him in everything we do and say!

      I have made a wonderful little book for you to download that has some great verses to memorize that will help your children make good choices when making friends.  To download it, just click on the link below the image.  




Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Bold as a Lion

   


      Sometimes  I feel we have lost the ability to be bold about our faith.  We need to do what is right, no matter what may happen to us.  In the Bible, there are three words that are translated to the word bold: Tharrheo, Parrhesiazomai, and Tolmao.  Tharrheo means boldness in the face of death.  Parrhesiazomai means a boldness to speak the truth.  Finally we have Tolmao, it means a boldness to accomplish great things for God.  Today I want to talk about the latter two.

     We need to be bold to speak the truth.  Yes, we must speak the truth with love, but we need to be careful not to compromise the Bible, while trying not to upset those we are speaking to.  Jesus always spoke the truth with love, but He was BOLD.  He would love on the person, but tell them to repent of the sin in their lives.  We need to follow Christ's example.  Sometimes  I will hear people say, well if I tell the person what they are doing is wrong, then I am judging them.  This is not true if you are speaking with love and truly concerned for the person's soul, and you are standing on Biblical truths.  I mean you wouldn't have any trouble telling a murderer that killing people is wrong, so why do we have trouble with other areas of the Bible?




     Now let's talk about boldness to accomplish great things for God.  If you can speak with boldness, you are ready to accomplish great things for the Lord.  God is looking for someone who is humble, yet bold.  Someone who is willing to tell the Good News to everyone they meet.  He is looking for the Daniels and Gideons of our day.  Those who have a heart for God, and are willing to step out of their comfort zones in order to do what He has called them to do.  He wants a person wholly surrendered to His plans, and ready to die for what is right.   Is this you???
   
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.  And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. ~ Revelation 12:11

     Do you know how to teach your children to be bold?  The best way to teach this character quality is by example.  Live a life that exhibits BOLDNESS in front of your kids.  Let them see you stand for what is right.  Go over Bible verse that speak about these three types of boldness.  Daniel is a great Bible book to help teach about boldness in the face of death and peer pressure.



Thursday, August 20, 2020

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF IEW

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

     Over the last few weeks, we have had the opportunity to improve Hope's writing skills by using Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B. This amazing curriculum comes to us from the Institute for Excellence in Writing®. Structure and Style® for Students is a program that brings a successful solution to your writing lessons.  It is guaranteed!!!!  Our family has used their curriculum in the past and we were thrilled to be chosen to receive and review this set. 



     This basic writing package includes:
  • Student Packet
  • Binder
  • Teacher's Manual
  • 24 videos with subtitles


     Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B  is geared for students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade  It consists of 9 units that will take about 24 weeks to complete. The 9 units in the book consist of: 
  • Note Making and Outlines
  • Writing from Notes
  • Retelling Narrative Stories 
  • Summarizing a Reference
  • Writing from Pictures
  • Summarizing Multiple References
  • Inventive Writing
  • Formal Essay Models
  • Formal Critique

     The Teacher's Manual is a great addition to this set. This book consists of an introduction, scope & sequence, a schedule that is adaptable, and an outline of the units you will be studying.  As you go through the manual you will see what is expected each day.  It gives answers to questions and ways to prepare for each unit of study.  You have everything you need to help teach this course.  They do give suggestions on how to add grammar to your program, but it is not necessary.  The videos that go with the program will do most of the work for you.  It will be up to you and your child's learning level to determine how much you will be involved in each unit study.






     Hope has been doing most of her work independently, but I have been checking in on her once a week while she is listening to the videos.  She also brings me her work each day so I can look over it. When I asked her if she liked the program she said yes.  Her comments were all positive.  She said she feels like it is done well and doesn't rush her through each lesson.  She likes the teacher and said he is very good at teaching how to enjoy writing. 

      I have seen her working and taking notes as she watches the videos.  She seems very interested and focused.  When it comes to writing she usually doesn't care for it, but I believe this course will give her a new love for writing and she will be able to do it well when she finishes the course.  I love how they teach writing skills in a way that makes students excited to try.  They encourage creativity along with skills. 

     This program has lived up to the others we have completed in the past and we look forward to using more of their courses in the future!!!  

     Would you like to know more about the  Institute for Excellence in Writing®? I encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below: 

     We also have more reviews of this course and others over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.... Just click the link below 👇👇👇👇

   
Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level A, B & C {Institute for Excellence in Writing® Reviews}

Staying Connected With Our Lifeline

   


  As I sit here in the quiet of the morning, I think about everything I need to get done.  It didn't take long for me to feel overwhelmed.  It was then I realized that I was leaving one important thing out this morning.  My time with Jesus.  How can I expect to complete anything without the strength He gives me?  How can I share Him with others if I have not made time to read His Word, pray and worship Him?  

     I wish I could say that I never miss my time with Him, but honestly I have days that I fail in this area.  Those are the days I feel so frustrated that I want to quit.  Those are the times when I just want to crawl into bed so I don't have to deal with the world around me. Those are the moments that I lose patience with my kids.

    If I forget to spend time with my Lifeline, I can't function.  So why do I do this to myself.  Only one reason comes to mind...... I'm human.  I think I can accomplish things without His help.  I assume that I am able, when the truth is I am NOT able to do one single thing on my to-do list without Him.  He gives me the ability to do what He has called me to do.  

     Do you have days you just feel like you can't go on?  Are you dealing with feelings of being in over you head?  I encourage you to begin to put God number one priority in your life.  Give Him the first fruits of your day. Pray before you even get out of bed. Spend a few minutes reading His Word.  Put worship music on while you are getting ready for your day.  I won't say that your day will be perfect if you do this, but it will be better.  You will find yourself not feeling so overwhelmed and worried.  He will empower you to get through your agenda without feeling like you are drowning.  Let the Holy Spirit lead you. 

      I am not only writing this for you to read.  I am posting this as a reminder to myself.  I want to always be reminded that I can do all things through Christ.  He is my LIFELINE!!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF HOMESCHOOL IN THE WOODS


Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

     With the Presidential Elections just around the corner, I was so happy to be able to receive and review U.S. Elections Lap-Pak from Home School in the Woods. This will most likely be the last study we will be able to use from this amazing company as our youngest is growing up quickly and getting too old for their wonderful hands-on studies.  

      The hands-on activities in these projects are a great way to keep your child focused on the subject you are learning about.  I love how you can adapt these studies for many age ranges.  This particular study could be done by doing a lap-book, a booklet format, or a full-size binder format.  We chose the last one.  We still were able to do the hands-on projects, but we display them in a different way. 



    The  U.S. Elections Lap-Pak is very unique. It is geared towards grades 3-8.  You will learn all about the election process and how the government works.  There are 21 Project Masters.  Each has an audio lesson for you to listen to or you can read it for yourself.  We decided to listen to the audios as we read along.  The projects are fun but educational.  Here is the list of sections you will be learning about:
  • Definition of election
  • Different forms of Government
  • The American experiment
  • The 3 Branches of Government
  • Suffrage
  • Who do we vote for?
  • Terms of office
  • A handful of political parties
  • Caucuses and primaries 
  • National conventions
  • The Presidential Campaign
       - Platform
       - Stump Speaking
       - Media
       - Campaign Advertising
  • Raising Money
  • Statistics
  • Election day
  • The Electoral College
  • Inauguration day
  • The Electoral Race
  • The Vocabinet


     I feel that Hope learned quite a bit about the election process that she didn't know before.  The lessons are detailed but also fun because you get to be creative as you go along.  She loves to color, draw, and put things together, so anytime you can bring those things into other subjects, she is a happy girl.  




     I asked her what her favorite part of making this notebook was and she said learning about how the presidential candidates campaign for the elections.  She had no idea that so much thought and energy went into getting votes.  She said it seemed like a lot of hard work for many people especially the candidates who had to give endless speeches.  I asked her if she would ever want to do something like this and she said "No, I am too afraid of speaking to lots of people like they have to do".  

    If you have a student who enjoys learning with hands-on activities that bring out their creative side, then Home School in the Woods would be a great tool for your homeschool.  Would you like to know more about them? I would encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below:




We also have more reviews of this resource and many others over on the Homeschool Review Crew website. Just click the link below:
👇👇👇👇

Election Lap-Pak, Benjamin Franklin, Timeline Collection, Time Travelers U.S.History and Make-A-State Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Homeschool in the Woods is running a giveaway until the end of August 2020.  Giveaway: A free copy of our Greek Life! File Folder Game when you use the code TOSGameNight at checkout. No purchase necessary.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Letterboard Fun!


     Recently we have bought a letterboard.  I saw so many people having fun with them on many different social media pages, I had to find out why they were so popular.  It didn't take long for me to see what was so intriguing about them.  They are fun and a great way to get creative while you remind your family and friends about favorite quotes or just leave little notes for them to read. In fact, our youngest daughter loved mine so much she asked for one of her own as an early birthday present.  I couldn't say no 😉  



     What is awesome is that her and I can share our letters, numbers, and icons.  It has been a fun experience as we change our boards and enjoy talking as we come up with what we want our boards to say for the day.  She is so creative and she inspires me to be creative as well.  

     I want to share some of our creations with you today so you can see how these can be used on a daily basis.  I am thinking of getting one more that is a little bigger to post our weekly Bible verse for our homeschool Bible class.  They are so versatile! 








     If you are like me and you love to share little quotes with loved ones, this is a great purchase.  They can also be used for little reminders, schedules, or menus. The list goes on and on.  

     It is relaxing for me to put ours together each day and gives me a creative outlet.  I love to find things that help me to de-stress and this is working out great.  I never thought I would enjoy something like this, but I am really loving it.  

     I encourage you to check out one for your family.  They have many different sizes and colors to choose from.  There are also different icons and letters that you can buy to add your own little flair.  It's a great way to show your creative side.  

      Have a great weekend!!!! May God bless you and your family!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW : OUR REVIEW OF Journey Homeschool Academy


Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

     For years I have been trying to find an online Science curriculum, and I am so thankful that we have had the opportunity to receive and review Experience Biology: Upper Level  from Journey Homeschool Academy  I have been really impressed with the program so far.  It is informative, but not boring.  Luke and Trish Gilkerson are an amazing duo that really knows how to teach Science in a way that is fun and educational.  Luke is the teacher throughout the videos we have watched and Trish is the writer of the curriculum.  Both are an asset to the online teaching community!!! I also love that fact that is Bible-based!!!!

     Our son Josh is 15 and entering the 11th grade.  Experience Biology: Upper Level has been a perfect fit for him.  When you sign up, you will be asked to set up a profile for your student where he or she will be logging on to take the classes.  This particular class has 34 lessons ranging from What is Biology to an Introduction to Ecology.  Your student will begin with an introduction by Luke and Trish and from there on they will begin their course.  Each week they will watch videos, be encouraged to read a chapter or 2 from a book I will tell you about later, take a quiz,  answer a few research questions, and complete a lab project. So simple!!

   



  As a parent, you will be responsible for printing the pdf files your child will need, buying the lab supplies, and if you choose you will also buy the book The Riot and the DanceIf you do not wish to print all the materials needed you can also purchase the Student Lab Guide and Student Guidebook from their store online.  We chose to print out our books to save a little money since we have a good printer that is not expensive to print on.  


     Josh has been enjoying the classes.  He isn't one to sit still for long periods of time, so I am always apprehensive when it comes to online classes, but these are only about 30 minutes in length for each one and Luke keeps your attention, so this a great fit for Josh.  I think what Josh enjoys most is the lab sessions.  He has always learned well through hands-on activities.  

 




       If you are concerned about teaching upper-level Science classes like I was, and you want a great resource that will teach your child Biology in a unique way, these classes are for you!!!  Would you like to learn more about this class and more?  I would encourage you to go check out their website along with their social media pages listed below:


     We also have more reviews for this program and others over on the Homeschool Review Crew website.  Just click the link below 👇👇👇

Experience Biology: Elementary Level, Upper Level and Experience Astronomy: Elementary {Journey Homeschool Academy Reviews}

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Homeschool Review Crew: CTCMath


Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

     Good morning! Today I want to tell you all about our experience with CTCMath. We were given the one-year subscription of the 12- Month Family Membership to review this time, and as always, it is such a blessing for our family.  This is our 3rd year using CTCMath as our full-time math curriculum, and we love it!!! 



     As a homeschooling mom, I have always had anxiety when it came to teaching high school math subjects like Geometry, Calculus, Algebra 2, and Trigonometry.  With CTCMath, I don't have to worry.  They are an Australian based company that teaches math lessons through videos. Their courses range from Kindergarten to 12th grade. They provide quality lessons for our children to learn what they need to know in a way that they will remember.
Here is what they offer:
  • Video Tutorials
  • Interactive Questions
  • Worksheets and Solutions
  • Reports of the Students Progress


     We have 1 student using the program right now, but Hope will be joining him in the Fall. Josh is doing Geometry right now. He is doing very well.  He enjoys the videos and love the fact they can work at their own pace. I love that CTCMath keeps records of their classes and grades and sends me progress reports.  If you are not sure what class your child belongs in, they have diagnostic testing to help you put them right where they belong. 

Here are examples of the Progress Report and Grading Level Certificates that Josh is getting:








     This program can be done independently or you can sit with your child as they watch the videos and complete the lessons. I like that children can watch the videos over and over again until they understand the concept being taught.  After each video, they are given questions to answer.  You can print the questions and tests, but we prefer to save paper and ink, so we do what we can from looking at our computer screens only using paper to work through steps of an equation, then entering our answers into the computer where they will be graded immediately. If you miss any, you can go over them and try again.  On the teachers' side of the program, you also have the answers to pull up at any time if needed.




     I have personally sat down with Josh to see how the program works and I have to say that I have learned quite a bit from the videos.  The lessons are thorough and they make sure each concept is taught and understood before going on to a new one. 
   

     CTCMath has been a lifesaver for our family and we are looking forward to learning more as we continue with the lessons.  

     It has been so nice not having to argue with my kids when it's time to do the math.  Josh is no longer complaining about his lessons. Some days it was like pulling teeth to get him to do his math work, but now he is actually enjoying each session.   I have been thrilled to see his progress and his grades have been great.  Compared to other math programs we have tried, this one seems to be the best fit for our family.  I am so excited to have another free year to use it, and  I know for a fact we will continue are subscription beyond the free year.   I am no longer anxious when it comes to math class and that is a good feeling. 

     Would you like to learn more about this program? I encourage you to look over their website CTCMath or check out their social media pages: 


     

      We also have more reviews for you, just click on the link below
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From Kindy to Calculus CTCMath 12-month Family membership {CTCMath Reviews}

Friday, July 17, 2020

Le'ts Dig Deeper into Titus


     The book of Titus is a small but very important book for believers to study.  I have read through it  a few times and each time I see new things that God is trying to teach me.  A while back I made a little study guide for me and a few women to use to help us study this book and today I want to share it with you. What I love about the S.O.A.P. method for studying the Bible is that all ages can be involved, so you can study this book with your children. 

     In these three chapters, we see the qualifications for choosing leaders in our churches.  We need to be very careful about who we put in places of leadership and these requirements mentioned here, will help us choose wisely.  We are also warned to stay away from those who are trying to deceive others and to turn towards those who are teaching sound doctrine.  

     My favorite verse is Titus 2:11, For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.  Here we see that God's grace will bring salvation to all those who believe in Him.  As the chapter goes on, we see that God will change us as we obey Him and turn from sin.   It is such a powerful book of the Bible and one we should read often to remind ourselves of how we should live godly lives even when others are not.  

      Towards the end of chapter three, we are told that God's salvation through our faith in Him will bring us eternal life.  How awesome is that!!!   We serve such a great God who loves us and wants us to be with Him.  I want to serve Him because He loves me and my obedience to Him shows Him my love.  

     I encourage you to take your time to read through each verse and allow God to change your life as you do.  He wants to instruct us through the teachings in His Word, we just need to take time to read it everyday.  It is life changing!!!!

     Below is the link to the study guide.  I pray it is a blessing to you.