Just Being Us

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

Monday, December 11, 2017

Our Review of Magic Stix from The Pencil Grip

     Do your children like to use markers? Are you tired of worrying about them drying out and not being washable? Well, we have a solution for these issues. The answer is Magic Stix from The Pencil Grip.  We were given the opportunity to try these markers for free and now we want to review them for you. 

      When they arrived in the mail, our daughter Hope, who is 10 years old, couldn't wait to get her hands on them.  She loves arts and crafts of any type. Markers have always been one of her favorite ways to express herself, but they always seemed to dry out quickly and the colors were not as vibrant as she would like. She opened up the package and right away you could see her mind go to work. 

      The first thing she said was that she loved the box that the markers came in. It is made of a durable plastic that keeps the markers in place for easy use and storage even on the go. We received the 12 count markers but they also come in a 24 pack.  

      It wasn't long before she had them all out and was putting them to use. I asked if they were different from other markers she had used in the past and she immediately said "YES".  She said the colors were vivid. She was also excited to find out they had no odor.  Some markers give her headaches if she uses them too long. She was also impressed with how comfortable they were to use. She said other markers are too large for her hands and make it hard to hold them for a long period of time. These are the perfect size.

      Here are a few of her creations.  She was able to use each color and she loved them! 

      I like the fact they are non-toxic and washable.  I don't have to worry about her getting carried away with her drawings. They also have a guarantee not to dry out even if the cap is left off for seven days.  Can you believe that?  SEVEN DAYS!!!  I have thrown away so many markers because they were left out overnight without their caps and that is such a waste of money.  These won't do that and that is a HUGE deal for our household.  I actually put one to the test and left the cap off for 3 days.  It didn't dry out and it worked just as well as the first day we got them. 

     We are very happy with these markers and encourage you to try them for yourself.  I love a company that guarantees their product and has integrity.  The Pencil Grip is a company that has those attributes.  We love them and will continue to buy and use their wonderful products.  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Preparing Our Hearts {Free Mini-Workbook for Christmas}


 It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, but I believe we need to take time out to focus on the real reason for this time.   Jesus came to earth as a tiny baby and we need to remember that is why we rejoice at Christmas, but that is only part of the good news.  The rest of the story is the fact that He came to die for our sins.  He chose to enter our world, live among us, and then He chose to die on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. His sacrifice took the penalty for our transgressions.  He conquered death so that we might have eternal life with Him and He only asks that we believe on Him.

      His amazing grace brings both joy and sorrow to my life.  I am so thankful that He pours out His grace on me everyday, but I am sad that I have trouble extending this same grace to others.  I want so much to be more like our Savior.  My prayer is that I can love on others like He does  I want to show His love through the way I live my daily life.

     As this wonderful holiday approaches, I find myself wanting more and more of Him.  I love spending time with my family and watching them enjoy the joy that this season brings, but I don't want to lose sight of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I want Him to be at the center of our home and our main focus this month.

     I have some great activities planned for the kiddos this month to remind them of His love and wonderful gift of salvation that began with the day He was born.

    We are doing an Advent study with a different theme each week.  The first week we focused on hope. We will also be studying love, joy and peace. It keeps our hearts centered on Christ.  

    We also love our going through our names of Jesus ornaments. We look up the verses where these names are found.  It is all about keeping our eyes on Him.

    What are you doing to proclaim Him?  How will you show Him glory and laud this month? Do you have family traditions that keep you focused on Christ? 

           I have made a mini-workbook for you to download and print for use in your homes this season.  I hope it blesses you!  

To download this study, just click the link below the image.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Let's Have Fun With Numbers {FREE PDF}

Good morning!  I hope you are having a wonderful day!

I have a great little workbook for your Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Kindergarten age kiddos.  They will learn their numbers from 1 to 12. They will have fun learning them with an adorable Christmas Theme. 😊

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

If you would like to add our Fun With Tracing Letters PDF to your collection as well, come check out our blog page here: 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Let's Have Fun With Our Christmas Themed Tracing Pages!!!

     During this time of year, it can be a chore to get our kids to settle down to learn. It's important to keep them focused and using fun but educational little worksheets are the best way to keep their attention. 
     I have made a cute little PDF for you download and print for free.  I hope it is a blessing to you as we begin celebrating Christmas.  

     To download this PDF, just click on the link below the image.  Have fun and enjoy this time with your kiddos.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Forbrain

     I have always enjoyed speaking in front of people, but most of my children get quite frightened to do so.  I think they lack confidence in their speaking abilities and a couple of them do have small speech issues.  When we were given the opportunity to receive and review Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD, I was excited to see how it would help my kids to become better speakers and more focused. 

     Forbrain is a headset that when worn will help you hear your own voice with more clarity and more quickly than without it. It does this by blocking out sounds around you while you use it, and as the headphones sit on the two bones beside your outer ears, this stimulates the nerves to help with hearing and comprehension. It was created to help children and adults improve speech, focus, and memory. It is for ages 4 and up and can be worn for up to 20 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. 

     Our son Josh has attention problems. He has trouble focusing on one task especially if the task does not interest him. During the review time, I had him wear the headsets every day when reading his history lessons aloud. We saw a significant change in his grades.  He went from getting mediocre grades on his tests to almost perfect scores. After seeing him progress in his ability to memorize his historical facts, we decided to have him use them as he worked on scripture memorization as well, and we saw improvement in this class almost immediately.

      I asked him what he thought of the headphones and he said that they helped him to stay focused on what he was reading.  I asked him what he liked and disliked about the Forbrain and he said he loved them except they were a little large for his little ears.  He is 12 but is small build. He said they hurt his ears a little when worn for more than a few minutes and he had a hard time keeping them where they are supposed to be worn. Other than that he was quite pleased with how they worked.  

     Our older son Ryan is 17 and has trouble with speaking in front of others.  He hates reading aloud and gets very frustrated when he has to talk to a group.  He also has a tendency to speak loudly even in a quiet room.  He doesn't have hearing issues, but being a middle child he has always felt he had to speak up to be heard over all his siblings.  Now that his older siblings have moved out we are finding he is in a habit of still speaking with a loud voice.  We were hoping that this headset would help him in these two areas and we were not disappointed.  

      He loved the way they helped him hear how loudly he was speaking and are helping him to retrain his brain to speak more softly. He has also been using them to practice reading aloud and it is helping him become more confident in this area.  I asked him what he thought of the headphones and he said they were a great fit for him and that he will continue using them as he prepares for upcoming interviews and speaking in public. 

     I was very impressed with this product. They are made of durable material and I feel they will last for quite a long time.  We will be trying them with our daughter soon as she struggles with reading aloud also. If you have a child or know of an adult who has issues with focus, memorization, or speech, I would suggest trying Forbrain. It may help them in ways you never thought possible.   

     Would you like to learn more about this resource?  I encourage you to check out their website and their social media pages listed below:

     We also have more reviews of this product over here 

Forbrain {Sound For Life Ltd Review}

Come on over and check them out!
Have a wonderful week!

Friday, November 10, 2017

FREE Veterans Day Printables!!!


     Tomorrow is Veteran's Day 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 8, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Thinking Like an Engineer

     My son was so pleased when we were given a 2-year subscription to the Thinking Like an Engineer course from Innovators Tribe to review. He is still praying about what he would like to study after high school and engineering is on his list of interests.  I feel this program will help steer him in the right direction.  This course will give him a good idea of what an engineer does and I hope it helps him make a decision.  

       Thinking Like an Engineer is an online course with hands-on activities that give students a look at the career of engineering. Engineers are associated with applied science, technology, and design. This course has so much to offer like: 
  •  Self-paced Interactive Lessons 
  •  Hands-on Activities
  •  Design Challenges 
  •  Downloadable Exercise Journals
  •  Design Software
  •  Online Support
  •  Safety Measures

     Thinking Like an Engineer is taught with 6 different units that include:

  •  Introduction to Engineering
  •  Introduction to 3D Computer Design and Solid Modeling
  •  Engineering Rollercoasters
  •  Engineering Bridges
  •  3D Computer Design
  •  Nano-Engineering
     During our review period, we have completed the first two units and can't wait to move onto the third this week.  The entire course takes about 30 hours to complete. 

     Innovator's Tribe was developed to encourage young people to be creative, innovative and to discover new things. If you have a child that shows interest in technology, engineering, construction or hands-on activities, this may be a great fit for them.  I was very impressed when I listened in on some of the classes. They are put together with the purpose to teach our children how to use their imagination along with creativity and ingenuity.  They inspire our young people to use the gifts they have been given to better the world we live in. 

     I would like to share what my son had to say about the course so far.  This is in his own words.

     "I personally find the course to be fun and educational. So far we have learned what engineers do, 3-D design, and how it all works together. The teacher knows how to keep your attention and explains things very well. I have learned more about engineering during this short time than I ever have before. So far my favorite activity was creating a car tire rim in our 3-D design lesson. This program has encouraged me to use my mind to create and it has given me insight into what life would be like as an engineer."

     I asked him if he will be continuing this course and quickly got a "YES!"  

     Let's take a look at some of the activities Ryan did during his lessons over the past month or so. 

     In photo #1 we see the Tower Challenge. During this challenge, they were allowed to use 4 sheets of paper and 1 foot of masking tape. They had to make a tower that stood on its own for 10 seconds or more. It was fun watching him build it and seeing it stand tall. 

    In photo #2, we are seeing the tire rim that was built using the 123D Design software that they provide links for in the course.  This was Ryan's favorite project and he enjoyed spending time perfecting his rim. The software was easy to install.  Ryan was instructed on how to use it in the lesson before the activity.  He said it was an excellent tool for beginners.

     Our final photo is the Furniture Design activity. This also used the 123D Design software.  In this activity, you were to create a piece of furniture for your home or office.  Ryan decided to design a shelf to use for books or other knick-knacks. He had a lot of fun using his imagination for this project. 

    I was happy to see our son enjoying this course. It isn't easy to find good online classes for him. He has to be amazed by what he is being taught or he gets bored very quickly. This course was well suited for him. 

   I encourage you to take a look at the Innovators Tribe website to check out this course and the others they have to offer like Thinking Like an Architect. You won't be disappointed.  I know my son has been positively impacted by this course and will continue to use it throughout our school year.  

     If you would like to read more reviews of this course and others, come check out the Homeschool Review Crew site here
Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}
I hope you come on over to check them out!
Have a wonderful day!!!