Just Being Us

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

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Let's Talk.... {Free Printables}


      Communication is the key to a healthy relationship.....I bet you have heard that a thousand times, but has it really sunk in.  Do we take it seriously?  Do we realize that talking is one means of showing how much we care for one another?

       When we take time to sit down and have an uninterrupted conversation with our spouse or children, we are showing them that their thoughts, dreams and emotions are important to us.  Time is very precious, so when we give our time to listen, they will feel loved.  If we are looking down at our phones or watching TV while others are talking to us, they will feel jilted.  It is imperative that we stop communicating while trying to do other things.  

        We need to realize that we communicate in other ways as well.  Our words are powerful, but so are our actions and body language.  We convey many messages by the way we look at someone or by the way we hold our arms.  We can express love or hatred just by the way we stand.   People can tell a lot about us by the way we look.  They will feel we are easy to talk to or that we really don't want to be bothered by them.  

         What signals do you send out?  Do your children feel like they can come to you and talk about anything?  Do you and your spouse communicate well?   In our homes the communication should be on a deeper level.  We should be able to share our thoughts with one another and know that we can do so, without fear of reproach.   Our homes should be our safe place.  

           In our marriages, communication should be an even deeper connection.  We should be able to verbalize what we are feeling expecting the other to listen with intent.  As a wife, I only feel close to my husband when I feel he is being attentive to what I am saying.  I mean really interested in my words and being vigilant to hear me.   If I feel he is off in space while I am conveying my feelings, I get hurt.  We all yearn for a relationship where we feel loved..... and I am telling you communication is a key component in feeling cared for.  

           I want to give you some ideas on how to keep communication alive and well in your homes. It's all about being intentional.  

  • Dinner time is a great time to sit around and discuss our days.  Give everyone a chance to talk about their days.

  • Have a family game night.  You will all be relaxed and able to chat about life. 

  • Family devotions is an excellent time to communicate.  After reading God's Word, we can begin conversations about what God is speaking to us.
  • Hold families meetings once a month or so just to keep in touch with what is going on and to be sure everyone is doing well within the household.  

  • Long car rides are a great way to have everyone together and can open up lines of communication.  Turn off the radio, dvd players, and phones and just talk.

  • Make time for each child to be alone with you at least once a month so you can discuss personal issues just one on one.  
          Now lets talk about ways to keep the lines of communication open in our marriages: 

  • Make a date night.  Be intentional about talking about things other than the kids. 

  • Purpose to stay awake at night talking for at least 15 minutes.

  • Be attentive..... No phones or TV!

  • Doing a couples devotional can open up conversations.  A couple that prays together, stays together.

  • Listen with your heart... not your head.  Your mate may need you to hear their heart not just their words.

         I will be praying for you and I hope you will pray for me as we work on communicating better in our home.  It won't be an easy task but I feel it will be worth the effort and work we put into it. 

I made up some great questions to help keep us up to date with what our children like.
One key to communication is knowing the other person.  
I think these questions will help . 

Feel free to save and print them . 

Here are some great questions to ask your spouse.
Again feel free to save and print them 😊

Don't forget to stop over on our Facebook page for our Christmas Challenge
 Training In Godly Character

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

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: 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: OUR REVIEW OF Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books

     Our daughter has loved horses since she was a little girl.  She isn't keen to historical books, but these caught her eye right away when I showed them to her.  I was thrilled to see her excited to receive and review the books by Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books.  We were given all four books in the  Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Series.  

     Hope was even more excited about reading these books once she found out who had wrote them.  Mattie Richardson is a former homeschool student who wrote her first book at the young age of 13.  Hope is 12, so this was a great inspiration to her.  Mattie wrote this series to help students want to learn history again.  She wanted to make it interesting and exciting for young readers.  She wants to change that many children do not like reading, writing and studying history these days.  I am so happy to have someone who wants to make history fun for kids again.  This writer is a great source of encouragement for me and my daughter.  

     This series was created for children ages 8-14, but I feel anyone would enjoy reading them.  They are not long in length and are great for reading aloud as a family as well as personal reading. 

      Appaloosy will take you on an adventure with Storm, a beautiful Appaloosa brown horse.  This horse belongs to a tribe called the Nez Perce. You will learn all about this tribe and their hand in development of the Appaloosa. 

     Storm doesn't like being a fenced in horse.  He wants to be wild and free. After being sold a few times, Storm settles in with a young girl named Faith.  Here he finally finds a home with a girl that he has a strong bond with, but is soon stolen away. He is a headstrong horse and after freeing himself, he will have to choose to go back to Faith or remain free.

     My daughter couldn't put this book down.  I wasn't expecting that at all.  This is Mattie's first book and wow... it must have been incredible!!! 

      Dusty's Trail is a book that teaches all about the Pony Express.  It begins with a young man named Levi decides to take his horse Dusty and head out looking for a new job.  Dusty is less than enthused about the idea since he loves his life on the little farm.  Levi decides to go for this very dangerous job and takes off in the middle night with is trusty horse Dusty.  

      Your child will be taken on a historical adventure that will reveal all the facts about the Pony Express as seen through the eyes of Levi and Dusty.  I enjoyed seeing Hope liking to learn about this time in history without complaining.  

     We haven't had a chance to read through the next two books Golden Sunrise and Day and Night, but are looking forward to reading through them over our Christmas break.   These books will take us through the times of Davy Crockett and The Civil War.  I can't wait to read them.  I know Hope is anxious to finish the series as well. We were also given a PDF of the Enrichment Guide for Day and Night that we will be completing.  We have just had the opportunity to visit with our oldest daughter and her little family these past weeks and wanted to give them our undivided attention as they live so far away.  I will be reviewing the next two books right after Christmas break so stay tuned :) 

      Would you like to learn more about these books and their amazing author?  I would encourage you to check out their website and social media pages listed below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Appaloosy7/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/appaloosybooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AppaloosyBooks

   We also have more reviews for you to read over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just click the link below ⇊⇊⇊⇊

Book Set: Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise & Day and Night {Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books Reviews}

Friday, November 8, 2019


     Our daughter Hope has a very special name and I have always wanted to do something to show her how special it is and now with the help of Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! from CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts I was able to do that.  We were given a digital video from them to review and I couldn't be more pleased from what we were given.  This company sees how precious names are and want to share that with their customers. 


     CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts is an awesome company that provides personal items that gives your name meaning in many ways.  They not only tell you the origin of a name, they share its meaning and how special it is.  They remind you how special you are not only to the ones who gave you that name, but to God as well.  He knew you by name before you were born.  How awesome is that!!!  These gifts are such a sweet present to give to loved ones. I absolutely love everything I saw on their site.

     The video we were given is about 30 minutes in length and each minute was a precious reminder of God's purpose for us and His love for us.  It also shows how much your loved ones thought of you when they named you.  Your name was picked for you!!  You were on their mind every second as they chose it.  In the video that is made for you, your child will see artwork that you have submitted and pictures of them.  For smaller children this will be a thrill!!!  Our daughter is a little older and this video had more sentimental value to her.  She teared as she read the note that they add in the video from the person who purchased the video.  This note for her was from her daddy and me and she saw how much we loved and cared for her as this note was read to her. 

      In her video a little Pencil was her guide to learn all about her special name.  She giggled a little as she watched but was very touched.  Owl was her favorite character and she was interested to know the origin of her name.  We had no idea it was Anglo-Saxon.   This is a video she will watch over the years and keep forever.  

     We were also given a little PDF file full of activities that used her name.  She says she wished she would have had these when she was a little younger.  Preschool and Elementary aged kids will love these.  

     If you have a child that you would love to thrill with a video all about their name or wonderful items that have their name on it, I would encourage you to check out CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts.  You can also look them up on their Pinterest account for more about them. 

      We have more reviews for you over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just follow the link below 👇👇👇👇

Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! {CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts Reviews}

Friday, November 1, 2019


      I have never thought I would want to do online homeschooling, but I am always willing to try new programs and see what is a good fit for our family and what is not.  I was more than happy to receive and review a six month access to Calvert Homeschool Online provided by Calvert Homeschool.  I love companies that try to help homeschooling families find new and innovative ways to teach their children.  

     Calvert Homeschool is an online program that requires an internet connection, but can be used anywhere you go as long as you have a connection.  I love how versatile it is.  The online subscription gives you access to 45 courses for up to 3 students.  This is geared for grades 3-12 and they have placement tests to help you decide what classes would be best for your student.  


      There is a parenting board that makes setting up the assignments for your children easy.  You will make an account for your child/children then you choose what classes they will be taking and the dates they will be doing them.  When your child signs in to their account, they will see the assignments for that day and they can easily navigate to what they are required to do.  Once your child completes an assignment, you will receive their progress and grades on your parenting board.  It is all so easy!!!  I wish I would have had something like this when my older 4 were in school.  I love that they even have themes and colors to choose from. I love sites that can be personalized.  

     We decided to use this program for our 7th grade daughter.  She is using it for Math, History, and Science.  They have other classes like Language Arts, but we decided not to do that one at this time.  Hope is not one to sit in front of a computer everyday, so we have been using it 3 days a week and she is doing well.  She loves the Math classes most but is progressing well through World Civilizations and Science 700.  

     When they begin each class they are given a course overview.  Once they read through that, they begin their course.  Each class has a page explaining the concept, then questions to answer. When they complete it and are graded they mark it as complete and are ready to move on.  You as a parent can choose if they need to go over the concept again if they didn't do well. It is quite a remarkable program and always has the parent in mind as well as the student's education.

     Do you feel like your homeschool needs a change? Do you need more time to do other things in your home while your student is learning? I know I have been there many times and this program could be the answer.  I encourage you to check out their site and social media pages listed below:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CalvertHomeschool

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CalvertEdu

Instagram: www.instagram.com/calverthomeschool

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/CalvertHomeschool/

     We also have more reviews of this program over on the Homeschool Review Crew website.  Just click the link below 
Calvert Homeschool Online {Calvert Homeschool Reviews}

Thursday, October 24, 2019


     For years I have been looking for a way to teach Spanish that didn't frustrate my children.  I bet I have tried a dozen books and videos, but nothing really fit our family.  So when I looked at Excelerate SPANISH website, I was intrigued.  It looked different from other resources we have tried in the past.  I was thrilled when we were chosen to receive and review a years subscription to Excelerate SPANISH Streaming. We were given Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 to review. 

The website is easy to navigate and I had no issues signing in.

     Excelerate SPANISH Streaming is an online service that will teach Spanish with online videos.  It is family friendly, educational and fun all at the same time.  Each class is pre-recorded and ready for your use at your convenience.  I love that!  The length of each video is about 30 minutes.  These classes are unique because the teacher uses hand gestures, movements and little skits to help your child remember what they are being taught.  I think this approach is one that will be able to reach many more students than just handing them a book and saying "learn this".  This type of teaching is called "TPR".  That stands for Total Physical Response.  

     Each lesson begins with the student going over the vocabulary words that are written on the white board in the video. The words written on the board are pronounce clearly and then a gesture is attached to the definition so your child can retain the knowledge they are being taught in a special way.  It didn't take long for me to see this way of teaching was exactly what my son needed.  He was focused and able to understand and repeat the vocabulary words and he wasn't saying how bored he was. 

     It was a very awesome experience when my daughter, who is 12, wanted to join in the fun and now she is getting a head start on her foreign language classes.  These classes made it easy for her to jump in and start learning!  

     The have this program available to buy if you don't want to join the online subscription program.  You can also purchase workbooks that go along with the online classes, but we didn't feel it was necessary.  We just used notebooks from our homeschooling stash.  

     I love that they have a site called Quizlet that goes along with this program.  There are fun activities and such to reiterate what is being taught in the classes.  The flash cards and games are a plus in our family.  They have always been helpful in our home.  You can use the freebies on there to help drill your children on their new knowledge. 

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

     We have more reviews of this resource over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just click on the link below

Excelerate SPANISH help your students to learn FAST, naturally! (Streaming)  {Excelerate SPANISH Reviews}

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


     Our family has enjoyed playing board games for years.  Chess has always been a fun way to teach strategy and healthy competition.  When we were chosen to receive and review Fun Family Chess from Brain Blox we were very excited.  We couldn't wait to try it out and see what fun and innovative ways this company has come out with to help others learn this educational but also entertaining game.  

     Brain Blox calls Fun Family Chess "Earth's most dandy and delightful, refreshingly refined, easy-peasy way to learn chess."  I have to say I agree.  Board games help to bring families together in a way that digital games can't.  You are more engaged when sitting around a table with no distractions playing a game with your family.  Time and time again we have had many wonderful conversations over a good game of chess.  I feel it brings old fashion fun to your family's game night. 

    The Fun Family Chess set includes:
  • Folding Wooden Chess Board
  • 32 Wooden Chess Pieces
  • 2 Soft Pouches (to keep your chess pieces in)
  • Full Color Chess Book
  • 2 Reference Cards
  • Chess Cube

     So you are probably wondering what sets this game of chess ahead of others?  Well it is the way they teach.  It is taught in such a way that will help you learn the pieces and how they move in a fun way.  You always begin by setting up your pieces and setting out your reference cards and cube.  Right from the start you learn that the "light" side goes first.  That means the pieces that are lighter in color will make the first move. 

     I am not really good at explaining exactly how to use this unique way so I am going to post a video for you to watch explaining it in detail.   I wouldn't want to confuse you in any way or keep you from trying this great game because of my lack of skills to explain how it works.  

     Our family tried this method a few times to get a look into how it worked and they were very impressed.  It was so easy to follow and really did help you learn all about the game of chess.  The Roll, Match, Move method was a simple way to demonstrate how to play chess.  My kids said they wish they would have had this when they were first learning. I know once the grandbabies are old enough, I will be using this with them. 

     You know what is even more wonderful about this set?  Once you have mastered the art of playing chess, this board can also be used for standard games.  You just won't use the reference cards or cube when playing.  This game can be used for years to come and when you have a new player come along, you can teach them with this tried and true method.  

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

     We also have more reviews for Fun Family Chess over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just click on the link below 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

Fun Family Chess {Brain Blox Reviews}