Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good Reads

The lovely Jenn (sorry, Jenn, I just couldn't resist *grin*) at Classless and Lovin' It has started a post about 'Good Reads'. She shares her favorite Christian fiction books and has set up a Mr. Linky so that everyone can share their favorite reads too. Well, if you know me at all then you know that I have a few of these, so I couldn't help but to play along.

Okay, I don't think I can truly decide among the following what my absolute favorite is, but I really, REALLY like these books...

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is a wonderful historical fiction based on the book of Hosea. This book is a shining example of how God loves us so much, woos us, and chases after us, even when we are unfaithful.

This four book series by Lizz Curtis Higgs starts with Thorn in my Heart. Again, this is historical fiction based on the biblical story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah. You will definitely want to purchase these books as a set (or get them all from the library at once) as you will want the next one as SOON as you finish the one prior. I have loaned out these books time and time again. They are so good, I think everyone should read them!

The Mark of the Lion Series are more books by Francine Rivers. This trilogy is set in Rome and follows the persecution of the early Christians. This is edge of your seat, don't-bother-me-I'm-reading type books. You'll want the complete set before reading with these as well.

I read Madman by Tracy Groot two summers ago. The cover looks creepier than the book really is. This one was full of surprises and suspense. This wasn't what I would consider a 'light read', but has a great story and very well written.

The last one I'll share is A Bride Most Begrudging by Deanne Gist. I just finished this one last week and picked up a new one by Gist at Half Priced Books this evening. The kids and I are learning about Early American History (yes, I'm definitely learning too) this year and have just been studying about Jamestown. Interestingly, when doing some research to teach I came across some information about the early settlers purchasing brides from Europe with tobacco. Many of these brides were prisoners who were banished to the Americas to be sold. They called them the "tobacco brides". I picked this book up at our church library and it just happened to be about a 'lady' who was kidnapped and sold as a tobacco bride.

I love finding good Christian fiction...I know there's a lot of fluff out there, but I think there's fluff in every genre. I'd love to hear your favorite Christian fiction...only the REALLY good stuff, okay? Tell me if you post about it and make sure to sign the Mr. Linky at Jenn's blog. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Have You Heard It?

If you're not listening to Need To Breathe, you should be.

And this next one I know forward and backwards because its the exact conversation we've been having at our house for the past year and a half...

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. -Romans 8:18 Pin It Now!

Free Ebook for Fall!

Did you ever dream of getting a horse for Christmas? You can get a sneak peek of our Fall issue and see Nancy Carter's first horse! Oh, and she's not the only one sharing her childhood pictures. You'll see photos from the 50's through the 80's.

But, you'll need the Fall issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine to go on this walk down memory lane.

Plus, do you like to create holiday memories? The brand new TOS holiday E-Book can be yours, too. It's all about the fall and winter holidays - mainly Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it's not even for sale yet. This is your chance to get it first - for FREE ($12.45 value)!

Normally when a person subscribes, their subscription starts with the upcoming issue which can take a while. But, TOS thought about that when they planned their Fall Special.

If you subscribe now with their Fall Special,

you'll get almost 50% off the cover price for 2 years the current Fall issue as soon as it is ready

6 Bonus gifts

12 months of Teacher's Toolbox, which contains a FREE E-Book every month PLUS, the new E-Book, Homespun Holidays for FREE!

This is over $250 worth of product for only $39!!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Painting

For the past few years, we have painted our pumkins instead of carving them. What can I say...carving is just really, really messy. The kids enjoy painting them and its easier for me, so we all win.
Here are this year's creations:

H3 and my pumpkin.

G7, A6, and E5's pumpkins.
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Friday, October 24, 2008

October Creation Club

Our October Creation Club theme was 'Trees'. I was absolutely shocked to have 75 people (kids and adults) attending our October event! This was our one event for the year that was less like a nature study and more like a field trip.

We started our day at the Forest Discovery Center where we walked through an indoor forest. The animals you see on the slideshow are not least not anymore. We watched a short video about forest regeneration and took a tour through a large wood manufacturing factory (no pictures aloud). Then we headed upstairs to the activity area where we saw the world's largest wood mosaic mural (1,000 square feet). An artist was there demonstrating the process of wood mosaic. Also there was a large tree that we could walk through and the kids could sign there names. Hubby left a message for me.

After eating a sack lunch, we then headed over to Huber's Farm. We took a tour called "What happens to apples after they're picked." Apparently they are stored in a 'cold room' where they are kept at 32 degrees. Apples will stay fresh at this temperature for six months. We also saw how the apples were cleaned and sorted.

Afterwards, we headed out to the pumpkin patch where the kids each picked a pumpkin. We walked through the rope maze, the corn maze, and the bamboo maze. The kids had fun jumping on some sort of large inflatable and walking through the petting zoo. A6 has recently developed a fascination for all things horse related and was elated to ride on a pony for the first time.

We also bought some yummy apple cider, apple butter, and half a bushel of apples...did I mention we got some apples? Looks like I'll be making applesauce again.

And don't miss our hot off the press school shirts. They were printed a couple of weeks ago. They have our homeschool logo on the front and 2 Peter 1:5-7 on the back.

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BFS #106- Have it your way!

Memory Verse: Isaiah 40: 1- Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

Assignment: Tell us all about how you have “your” relaxing time, more especially how during the cooler months you take time to curl up with your favorite movie, book, Bible study, and what your favorite warm drink would be.

Share a picture of your favorite spot in the house or your favorite warm beverage, your favorite movie or book; possibly even your favorite Bible Study or maybe your women’s Bible group.

I know this is totally unoriginal...but this simply is my favorite spot in the house. I love a hot, HOT bubble bath, a good book, and a diet coke with ice. I turn the roaring vent fan on to drown out all the "kid noise" and relax for a good hour or two.

I have to say, I've enjoyed this assignment. Even though hubby is always willing to give me my time, this event still does not occur very often. And since we were required to show a picture, it was necessary to fill the bath. And since the bath was already full, there was no sense in letting all that water go to waste...needless to say, I finished the book. Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Baby Dedication

We had our Baby dedication service at church last Sunday and we dedicated Baby L to the Lord.


While we waiting in the lobby, Baby L became very talkative and I got a cute video of her.

"Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." -Matthew 19:14 Pin It Now!


If you are reading this, will you do me a favor and leave me a comment? Blogger has changed my comment board and some people are having trouble commenting. I'm starting to wonder if anyone can comment at all.

Let's make it fun, and tell me the name of a book you're currently reading. :-)

I'm enjoying this one...

A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Big Bin Blow Out Sale!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out the products and giving you my honest opinion.

Please note: This is not an actual review as I have not received any products from this company. As a member of The Homeschool Crew, I was informed of this sale and asked to pass along the information to all my friends...that's you!

Big news over at Homeschool Library Builder...they are having a Big Bin Blowout Sale! Literally hundreds of books have been marked down to $1, $2, $3, and $5. Now that's reason enough to make this book addict stand up and do the happy dance!

Homeschool Library Builder sells used books for everyone. Their website is easy to navigate as you can search by age, topic, or title. While browsing through their site I found classics such as Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, and Pilgrims Progress. Their were readers, fiction, and non fiction. I saw Janette Oke books, even Saxon 65! I plan on purchasing several of the picture books I need to go along with my Learning Language Arts Through Literature curriculum. Looking through this site is like visiting a local owned used bookstore - without the dusty smell!

The site owners are two homeschool moms and if that's not reason enough to support them, they are giving you a whole lot more. In addition to wonderful books at great prices here's what else they offer:

*They will do a book search for titles they don't carry...even out of print books!

*Easy fundraising program.

*They will advertise your "homegrown product" for FREE by providing a link to your website at the HSLB Marketplace.

*Their Spotlight of the Season offers Scripture, teaching ideas, and links to enjoy each special season with your family. (Think 'Unit Study'!!!)

*A Helping Hand program to help those in need.

*And sign up for free membership and you'll be enrolled in the Frequent Buyer Program where you can earn book points by buying, referring, or linking to your blog.

Check out their site and take advantage of the Big Bin Blow Out. And don't be shy about letting them know who referred you...I'd like some book points myself! *grin*

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Monday, October 20, 2008

You have our attention, Lord.

God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them. (Lk. 18:7 NCV)

From Max Lucado's site. Pin It Now!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Help Me To Teach Review

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out the products and giving you my honest opinion.

"Where did you get this?" my 7 year old son asked me a couple of weeks ago. In his hand he held a paper with information about Jamestown that I had printed off the Internet.

"I found it online and printed it." I said.

"Oh..." he still sounded confused, "But how did you find it online?"

I brought him to the computer and asked him to just name something to search for...anything.

"Bob!" he said.

I sighed. "Okay, 'Bob' it is". I typed in B..O..B and clicked 'Search'.

It was about this moment that it dawned on me. I really had no clue what would be popping up in the next couple of seconds. I couldn't just let my son sit down in front of the computer, type in a word, and hit search. Even filters don't block everything. Plus, it's not that easy to navigate through the thousands of sites that pop up for a simple search. Teaching him to research the Internet was not going to be easy. is a subscription-based Internet directory of online educational resources. This site was created by a teacher for teachers, homeschoolers, and students. Quotes from the home page of Help Me To Teach say that the author has spent thousands of hours "surfing the net for SAFE, RELEVANT sites". There are over 2200 links and more are being added continuously as the site is updated daily.

This is a safe site for students to use as the links take them directly to the information they are looking for. It is also a user-friendly time saver for the teacher who does not want to wade through all the unwanted information herself to find good, educational sites. You can use the online search engine to find what you are looking for or browse through the Table of Contents. I have found WONDERFUL links at Help Me To Teach. Some of these links have full year curriculum online and are totally free!

Another feature of Help Me To Teach that I appreciate is that each link has a description and is labeled to let you know the age appropriateness of the site. So if the site is geared for high school students and adults, it will be labeled as such. If it is a pre-school site, you will know even before clicking on the link.

The site is a work in progress and obviously a labor of love to the site owner, who I have corresponded with through email. Unlike a traditional web search, you will obviously not find links for every subject under the sun. But the owner has generously offered to research appropriate topics that are not already on the Help Me To Teach site for any one who has a one year membership. This means that while you're teaching, she'll do your research for you...that's a pretty sweet deal!

A membership can be bought in 4 ways:

1 Year - $29.95
3 months - $15.95
1 month - $9.95
3 days - $4.95

You can also use this site as a fundraiser, earning 50% of each one year subscription sold to your organization. (Perfect for co-ops!)

But here's the really great news...if you purchase a One Year Subscription any time now through December, then you get ONE YEAR FREE! That's TWO years for $29.95. You'll need to enter the code TOS in the discount box on the order form to participate.

I realize that most homeschooling moms are more than proficient in web searching and are one-income families, so you should really consider the cost on this one. I have to admit, though, that I have been pleasantly surprised at what I have found at Help Me To Teach. Admittedly, I drew a blank list several times when looking for specific topics. But when simply looking through the site's directory I have found TONS of sites that are true gems. I've enjoyed having Help Me To Teach as an additional resource.

For more reviews of this product visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

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M'm M'm Good

Memory Verse: Psalms 13:6 NIV
I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.

Assignment: Post your favorite fall recipe/recipes to share.

Well I thought I'd share a simple recipe for applesauce. I had never made applesauce and it is SO easy, I don't know why I haven't. I made it with the kids this past Monday while we were doing a unit on apples. The next day we went on a field trip to a U Pick Farm and brought home 1/2 bushel of we'll be making some more in the next couple of days!


1 quart of peeled and sliced apples
I cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
cinnamon to taste

Put all ingredients into a saucepan and cook until apples are tender (about 20 minutes). Mash the mixture using an electric mixer until applesauce is smooth. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until cold.

The kids and my husband all loved it. I even let Baby L have some for lunch today. We'll also be making candy apples this week as well. Now that's M'mmmmmmm! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jamestown Fort

We are learning about the Jamestown colony in our American History studies and I came across a resource a while back that I had to share with you! Homeschool in the Woods is currently offering free templates to build your own miniature Jamestown Fort. It is so cool!


Just print off the free templates on cardstock. Color and fold. It maybe took about an hour and half to complete, but it was such a neat project to do with the kids.



The website says that the free downloadable templates are only offer until July 2008, but they still have them up on their website. Even if you aren't studying Jamestown now, I would recommend downloading the templates for future use. Pin It Now!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Who woulda thunk it?

blog readability test

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

BFS #104 - Never Leave Home Without It!

Memory Verse: Matthew 28: 20 - Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

Assignment: In the memory verse Jesus tells us that He will never leave us, not even at the end of the world. He assures us in this verse that He will be with us and that means through everything we go through in life. I thought it would be interesting to write about the things we would never leave home without. For some it might be baby needs, others it might be a gym bag and bottle of water, and for some it might be your Bible and a notepad or small journal, maybe even your son or daughters favorite blankie! I’d like for you to write about something that you would never leave home without.

A diaper bag...I have six kids. 'Nuff said.

My cell phone...No, I'm not one of those people that have the phone surgically attached to my head. But once I was ran off the road by a speeding truck on a icy road (he didn't stop) when my oldest was just a newborn. Luckily, my friend was in the car with me and my aunt lived down the road. I left the baby with my friend and had to walk about a half mile in the snow. My husband and I decided a cell phone was a necessity item after that.

My sunglasses...I just mentioned this in the previous post. This isn't a fashion statement, but I seriously need my glasses. This is because the sun hurts my eyes. I have no idea why, but it started a few years ago and I wear sunglasses in all seasons now. My guess is that it has to do with fatigue. I don't have time to slow down and think about how tired I am with all these little ones, but I do show signs of it. This is just my season to be tired. It's worth it. Pin It Now!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm it.

Hey! Go check out Mercy Every Morning, Christy's wonderful blog. She tagged me the other day and now I have the task of listing seven random things about myself...that is if I can think of seven random things at this late hour. I can feel my brain slowly shutting down with every passing second, so I'll try to type fast...

1. I was only 17 when my husband and I married. We went to my senior prom in April. I graduated from high school in May. And we got married in June.

2. I have a hair disorder...or so I've been told. If you look very closely, you can see that each strand of my hair has little dots on it that look like beads. It doesn't matter which color I dye my hair, you can still see them. My hair dresser told me it's a hair disorder that is hereditary, but doesn't hurt your hair. The dots are actually on the inside of each strand. My oldest daughter has them too.

3. Right now, my toenails are painted purple.

4. I love reading catalogs...especially when combined with a hot bubble bath, a couple of Nestle's Treasures, and a diet coke with ice.

5. I cannot leave the house without my sunglasses.

6. When I was in middle school, I collected key chains. I had about 150 of them that I actually carried around on a big metal ring attached to my purse. I was such a nerd.

7. I have the same birthday as my mom and my grandma (dad's mom).

Okay...tag, you're it! Let me know if you post! Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tooth Fairy Headquarters

A6 lost her second tooth a couple days ago and put it in a bag under her pillow. Imagine our surprise the next morning when she found a dollar in change and the tooth still inside the bag. It seemed the tooth fairy forgot to take her tooth away. Everyone thought this was rather strange except for Daddy...hmmmmm.

Undaunted, A6 left her tooth out once again. When she awoke this morning she found this under her pillow:

It was a letter from Tooth Fairy Headquarters! And this is what it read:

Dear A6,

It is with utmost regret that I am writing you this letter. You may know that at T.F.H. (Tooth Fairy Headquarters), we have hundreds of fairies working around the clock to gather teeth and disperse payment to little boys and girls all around the world. While we try very hard to make no mistakes, occasionally we do.

Last night at approximately 1:32 a.m. a T.F.I.T. (Tooth Fairy in Training) arrived at your household to collect a tooth from you and give you your payment. You must know that it is a cardinal rule that we fairies can NEVER be seen, As the T.F.I.T. quietly slipped into your room, he deposited your payment quickly into the bag you left under your pillow. But as he reached into the bag to retrieve your tooth, he heard a baby's cry. As you can imagine, he became quite frightened at the prospect of being seen and rushed out the window! (We fairies can move in and out of windows without them being open.)

I took it upon myself, as president of T.F.H., to deliver this letter of apology to you myself. We fairies consider it a great honor to serve our Lord God to the best of our ability by bringing joy to His most precious - little children. We must do our job well. Plus, we need your teeth! They are most important to the fairies! Why, you ask? Well, that is a fairy secret. But maybe I can arrange to write the your family another letter the next time I visit. After all you have many kids in your family...and many kids mean many teeth!
Many Blessings,

Annalise Flutterwing
Tooth Fairy Headquarters President

We are all quite excited about the letter! :o) Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


The following poem was written by St. Cyprian in the 3rd Century, shortly after his conversion to Christianity.

This is a cheerful world as I see it
from my garden under the shadow of my vines.
But if I were to ascend some high mountain
and look out over the wide lands,
you know very well what I should see:
brigands on the highways,
pirates on the sea,
armies fighting,
cities burning;
in the amphitheaters men murdered
to please applauding crowds;
selfishness and cruelty
and misery and despair
under all roofs.
It is a bad world, Donatus,
an incredibly bad world.
But I have discovered in the midst of it
a quiet and holy people
who have learned a great secret.
They have found a joy
which is a thousand times better
than any pleasure of our sinful life.
They are despised and persecuted,
but they care not.
They are masters of their souls.
They have overcome the world.
These people, Donatus, are the Christians -
and I am one of them.

Can you imagine the courage it took for him to write these words - I am one of them? And even greater still can you imagine it possible for the early Christians to hold onto their joy when facing the stress of their persecution. At any time they and their entire family (husbands, wives, parents...their children) could be thrown into jail...or worse, the arena.

Still, Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 1 of them, "You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all believers...your faith in God is known everywhere."

Can this be me? My suffering is not nearly as great as facing the arena. I am facing a too-high mortgage payment, a declining - no, nonexistent reality market, a never ending to-do list, six children each demanding my every moment, disappointment. Can I choose joy amidst all this?

Romans 13:15 says, "May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Joy comes as I trust in Him by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As I trust.

Trust and the joy will come.

Today, I choose to trust.

Ecclesiastes 3 says "There is a time for everything....He has made everything beautiful in its time."

It is time for us to endure hardship, and I a praying not despite it, but because of it, we will be beautiful today. Pin It Now!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Have You Seen This?

I can assure you I will not be posting many things political. But regardless of where you stand and who you are voting for, you should be informed on all issues. Please go to this site and watch the short video. Pin It Now!

Effects of a Full Day at Co-op.




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Friday, October 3, 2008

Tired of all those bills...Try something new!

Do you remember when opening your mailbox was a grand event? Long before I ever knew bills and junk mail existed I would run out to retrieve the mail for my parents and rummage through it looking for my name on the front of one of those letters. Occasionally I would receive a birthday card or letter from my cousin who lived in Arkansas. I would run to my room to read my new found treasure again and again.

My mailbox is not overrun with magazine subscriptions. As a matter of fact, I only currently have three magazines that I subscribe to and only maybe two more that I would like a subscription to. I cannot be frivolous with my money or my time. I subscribe to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and I can honestly say that I will renew my subscription again and again. This is my favorite magazine and when it arrives every other month I once again have a reason to rejoice over the mail. I can hardly wait through the couple of hours until my husband comes home from work. Then I slip away with my TOS magazine and highlighter into a nice hot bubble bath. The bath provides relaxation and the magazine provides encouragement and inspiration.

I know I've told you about TOS digital subscription before, but I wanted to tell you all about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Fall Special. You can get two years of the printed magazine, 6 fabulous physical gifts (no downloads!) worth over $120, plus the current issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine that is full of ideas for the new school year, so you start receiving your magazine in a flash! As if the magazine wasn't enough, TOS has partnered up with and giving away some of my favorite homeschooling resources...Hands of A Child, Teach Magazine, Creation Illustrated and more...

It really is one of their best deals ever and you don't want to miss out. In fact, notice the really cute Homeschooling with Heart tote bag (valued at $13.95) for the first 1000 to subscribe. Pink and brown is one of my favorite color combinations. My tote bag is in the mail and I can't wait to receive it! About half of them are gone, but you should still be able to get one if you hurry! (They will remove the info from the subscription page when the bags are all gone.) The total value is over $212, but you receive it all for only $39 - 50% off of cover price! Plus subscribers get their online monthly Teacher's Toolbox which focuses on a different topic each month, giving you words of encouragement, hands-on teaching ideas, book recommendations, field trip ideas, and a bonus download item.

If you are a homeschooling parent, then I am telling you The Old Schoolhouse magazine is required reading material! What an awesome special!

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Evidence of our Wackiness

This is WACKY WEEK here at Blogger Friend School! Everything is wacky fun! This week YOU, the student, get to share something of your choice that is little “Wacky”!!!

Have you done something crazy in your homeschool? Do you fingerpaint with your toes? Do you let your children do your hair? Do you wear your pajamas during homeschool? Oh, the list is endless, but it’s up to you and how much fun you want to have.

To make it even “wackier” (not sure if it’s really a word, but hey, we don’t check spelling this week at BFS either!!!…..try and type some or all of your post sdrawkcab. (backwards!)

Exhibit 1: Science Experiment
Conclusion...One year olds and Oreos don't mix.

Exhibit 2: Mutating into storybook characters





Exhibit 3: Fictional Geography
I actually had the kids cut out and paste this map of Columbus' first voyage in their history notebooks. Notice anything askew? Perhaps the large fictional country of Bergonia (half the size of the US) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? The only thing wackier than me not noticing the fictitious Bergonia on the map before printing it, is the creators of the very detailed website dedicated to Bergonia. Included on the website is maps of the country, details about its population, religion, wildlife, etc., etc. There's even a page that tells the entire story of Columbus landing on the island during his first voyage to the Americas. This is the page I found when I googled 'map of Columbus' first voyage'. Won s'taht ykcaw! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008



The Carnival of Homeschooling is being hosted by Simple Pleasures this week. Check it out! Pin It Now!


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