Saturday, March 25, 2017

We Moved...AGAIN. ~ Weekly Wrap-Up

It's been awhile since I have posted an update because we have just been too busy. My life seems pretty much like a whirlwind lately. By the time I get up, get started with the day, it's time to go to bed. But, if you've ever moved, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

If you remember last year we moved because we did not care for the city we lived in. It was a rough move because trying to find a house around here is pretty much a nightmare. We basically settled on a house because it had just gotten to the point that if we didn't find a house, we would be living in a hotel, and having to put our things in storage. No one wanted that so we said yes to a house that was just "ok", even though we were thankful to finally have a house.

We moved in and from the moment we opened the door we had issues. They didn't even paint the house on the inside, and believe me it needed it. That was just at first glance the list of issues that would follow. We were paying A LOT of money for this house to rent in a wonderful neighborhood. All of these issues should have been taken care of way prior to us even signing the contract to rent it...especially for what they wanted us to pay for it!

After we moved in and we started getting the issues checked off one by one, the owner decided to sell it. Yep, we had random people traipsing through our house several times a week, and of course I had to have the house looking pristine. It was annoying and I would pretty much be in a bad mood for the 2 months it was on the market.

It finally sold, and we were beyond happy. An investor bought it, so that way we wouldn't have to move like the real estate agent told us. He came in and promised to replace the carpet, which was the last thing on our list to have done. The previous owner never replaced it and it should have been, so we were very happy with how things were turning out.

I honestly really liked that house. It just needed things done to it, and the kitchen was too small. Who makes a kitchen with hardly any cabinets in a 4 bedroom house?

So out of the blue the new owner texts me and tells me he has another house available and if we wanted it, it was ours. It was bigger, had a huge kitchen, and wood and tile floors so it wouldn't flare Gav's allergies up. So, we accepted and started moving in two days later.

Our new house
We finally got everything moved, and now we have most of it put away in our new house. It was much easier moving from 1800 square feet to 2500 square feet rather than downsizing like we did last time. We are back to school, and basically trying to catch up from the time we were out of commission due to the move. Everything had to be put on hold, including school, and all of my reviews.

Now that things have settled down, I getting back to my blog and posting reviews. Make sure you follow along, because I have some great reviews coming up!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow and Kregel Publications ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

One of my favorite things to review is books! I love books so much, but there is always something about a good series. It keeps you on your toes waiting for the next one to follow. Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top are exciting books in the new series, Circle C Stepping Stones, written by Susan K. Marlow, and published by Kregel Publications.

Circle C Stepping Stones is included in the 4 part series that follows the life of Andrea Carter, or Andi for short. Andi is a young girl living in the 1800s growing up on a California ranch. In the first series, Circle C Beginnings, Andi is 6 years old and has a baby horse named Taffy. This series is perfect for readers ages 6-9. The second series is the new series that we were blessed to preview, Circle C Stepping Stones. Andi is now 9 years old and her horse Taffy is 3. They are now at the perfect age to be horse and rider. This series is geared towards readers in the age range of 7-10. Next in line is Circle C Adventures. Andi is 12 years old and off on all kinds of wild excursions that teach her all about faith, family, and friends. The age range for this series is 9 - 13 years old. Last but not least is Circle C Milestones, where we follow Andi as a teenager. We find out just what plans God has in store for her here! Circle C Milestones is geared for ages 11 and up.

Andi Saddles Up
ISBN: 9780825444302
Pages: 112

Book one in the series starts us off right when Andi turns 9 years old. She wants nothing more for her birthday than a shiny new saddle. During her birthday dinner, mean old Mr. Hollister barges through their door angry over a property line that has changed over time. Andi's brother Chad and Mr. Hollister have words, and definitely do not see eye to eye on the situation. Despite the feud going on, Andi receives her perfect gift. She can't wait to get it on her horse Taffy, so they can finally be a real horse and rider. While Andi was at her "special spot" she met a new friend, Sadie. The only problem is, Sadie is Mr. Hollister's daughter. Can they still be friends despite the families feuding?

Andi Under the Big Top
ISBN: 9780825444319
Pages: 112

Book two in the Circle C Stepping Stones series opens up in the summer after Andi turns 9 years old. She is super excited when she gets word that the circus is coming to town! Her dream was to see the champion bareback rider who would be performing, Miss Minnie May. While at the circus she meets a young boy named Henry who works for the circus. Andi thinks that this must be the best job in the whole world with all of the excitement that happens under the Big Top! The only thing is, Henry has a big secret, he's run away from home and isn't happy where he's at. Will Andi be able to help him return to his family?

Gavin loved both of these books. He read them in just a short time. What I loved, as a parent, is the fact that these are educational, wholesome books, that any child can enjoy. At the beginning of the books are vocabulary words. We went over these words at the beginning and it helped him understand the story even more. I loved this!

Another great benefit to these books is that there are study guides that coincide with each book. These are really thorough study guides and can turn this into a unit study. I wish we could have used them, but we were in the middle of a move and weren't able to. I would highly recommend using them though because they are such a great bonus. I was really impressed with the effort that was put into the study material. They have everything from a schedule, to vocabulary, and questions for each chapter.

Again, I have to say, I was impressed with these books. I want to order the rest in the series because Gav read them out loud to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

~Be sure to follow along on social media~

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Andi Series {Kregel Publications and Susan K. Marlow Reviews}
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Creative Freewriting Adventure by Home School Adventure Co.~ A Homeschool Crew Review

We have been working on a fun and exciting program the last few weeks that we have really enjoyed. Creative Freewriting Adventure, written by Stacy Farrell, at Home School Adventure Co. has proven to be my kid's favorite thing to do lately. This is our first time using anything from Home School Adventure Co., and I have to say that I am really impressed.

What is it all about?

Creative Freewriting Adventure is 15 minute writing exercises, and can be used as a stand alone program, or it can be used along side the Philosopher Adventure, also offered by Home School Adventure Co. We used it in our homeschool as a stand alone program with both of my kids that are 15 and 11. It is available as a PDF download, or you can order a print edition. They even have a Coloring Book Edition that offers a coloring page with each prompt. There is no prep work needed, and as a busy homeschool mom, I can definitely appreciate that! All you need to get started, if you order the Digital Download, is a pen, paper, and timer! That is another plus for this mom!

How does it work?

Edyn and Gav have never really wanted or liked to free write. I have given them different prompts, and I normally get the same issues. They bombard me with the excuses of, "I can't think", or "I don't know what to write about." This program is completely different with the prompts and the way they are given to the student.

There are 10 different exercises that the program gives you.

  • Exercise 1 - Thales
  • Exercise 2 - Pythagoras
  • Exercise 3 - Xenophanes
  • Exercise 4 - Democritus
  • Exercise 5 - The Wise Woman
  • Exercise 6 - Beasts
  • Exercise 7 - The Gallery 
  • Exercise 8 - Winged Pony
  • Exercise 9 - Eternity
  • Exercise 10 - The Ultimate Christmas Party
Each prompt has 3 parts to it. In the beginning it gives you a little insight on who or what the prompt is about. Next it tells you what your journey will be regarding the person or thing. To me this was such a good way to get the story flowing for the students. It is a detailed description of what is going on, and really gets the student's wheels turning. The third and final part of the exercise is "Your Assignment." This is a series of questions, that gives the student great ideas to incorporate into their story. "Who was with you on this adventure?" "What do you see?" "What do you say to ____?" "Are you eating something?" These types of questions are so perfect in helping them with details.

For example, the Democritus exercise was one of my kid's favorites. My daughter especially loved it. In the beginning you are given some information about Democritus, including that he was known as "The Laughing Philosopher." Next up, is "Your Journey." This is what was given to them to set the story up.

Next up is the set of questions that help them with the details of the story. I could literally see their imaginations light up after asking them the questions. Finally, we would set a timer for 15 minutes, and let them go.

Here is the story that my daughter wrote for this exercise. Remember she hates to write, and doesn't even know what to write about. I offer no help while they are writing, it is all strictly from the kids. Also, we don't check grammar, because I want them to concentrate on their story telling. We study grammar in other subjects of our school, so this is only for getting their story on paper.

It was a normal Tuesday afternoon when my best friend, Isabella, and I wanted to go rock climbing. We planned this a week in advance so we were really pumped about it. As we were walking to our favorite spot, you could hear the crunch of the rocks with every step. We finally reached the cold, tan, gigantic rock. It went straight up to the clouds. Isabella and I started our journey, and as we were climbing, you could hear our fingernails scraping against the rocks as we climbed higher and higher. We got to our usual stop, sat there for a minute, gulped some icy cold water, and decided that it was time to go higher. We continued to climb for another 30 minutes, when all of a sudden, I see a lightly illuminated tunnel that was indented into a rock. I was so astonished. Most people would turn back now, but that's not an adventure! I screamed to Isabella to "Hurry UP!" as she's about 10 steps below me. After she climbed to where I was, I looked toward her as I'm sitting in the narrow tunnel. Her face turned pale as a ghost. I said with excitement, "Let's do this! Let's figure out what's on the other side of this!" I could hear the nervousness in her voice as she said, "Ok." We climb into the narrow tunnel for about 10 minutes when all of a sudden, my right hand didn't feel the rock anymore. I trip and fall onto a soft marshmallow like pad. Isabella is right behind me. I look around into the blue hazy sky. I ask Isabella, "What is this place? It's so beautiful!" Before she could answer, a frog jumps out of nowhere and onto a lily pad, and says, "This is our universe." I said, "Wait a minute! Frogs can't talk! Isabella! Lets get out of here!!" We noticed an old brown ladder that lead us back up to the tunnel we had fallen down. We climbed back up and went home. It was quite an adventure. 

Written by: Edyn

I was quite impressed that she had that much detail in a story that was written in only 15 minutes! This is only one example. I could write on and on with how impressed I am with their accomplishments. I would definitely recommend this program for anyone who wants to give their kids some free writing time. Creative Freewriting Adventure by Home School Adventure Co. has definitely opened my kid's eyes and helped them get their creative juices flowing! 

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Resources with a Biblical Worldview{Home School Adventure Co. Reviews}
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mila is 2!!!

So this past weekend we went back home for Mila's birthday party and yesterday was her actual 2nd birthday! I didn't have time to post so I decided to make it my Wordless or almost wordless lol Wednesday post!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Traveling Thursday

Since I missed Wordless Wednesday, we are going to post a Traveling Thursday! We are headed out on a road trip to see our family, and to celebrate Mila Rose's 2nd birthday!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

D is for Davenport, Iowa ~ Blogging through the Alphabet

So this week may seem like a little random spot to be visiting, but Gavin decided to Google places that start with D, and Davenport, Iowa was what he chose. He says that he loves the Davenports on the t.v. show Lab Rats, so that's basically what swayed his decision. So, here we go!

Davenport, Iowa
was part of the Louisiana Purchase. It was established in 1836 by Antoine LeClaire and named after his good friend, George Davenport.

What continent is Davenport, Iowa on? Since it is part of the Unites States, it is in North America.

What kind of government does it have? Again, it's part of the U.S. so follows the U.S. Government.

What are the people called that live there? Well since they live in the state of Iowa, they are called Iowans.

What is the official language? English

What kind of animals is this place known for? Iowa has quite a bit of wildlife that live there. Some animals include bison, elk, deer, racoon, fox squirrel, mountain lion, lynx, gray wolf, black wolf, coyotes, bears and beavers, just to name a few. 

Famous people that are from here? My son was excited to find out that NFL running back Roger Craig was from here along with offensive lineman, Julian Vandervelde. Seth Rollins, the wrestler is also from here. 

Fun Facts:
  • Apparently it's the "loose meat capital." Fred Angell opened the first Maid Rite restaurant in Muscatine in 1926. Being from Texas, I had to explain what a loose meat sandwich was to my kids. It's kind of like a hamburger, but not formed from what I can tell. I found a recipe, and we will be adding them to our menu next week!
  • Davenport Iowa is home to one of the U.S's oldest minor league baseball parks that is still in use today. Modern Woodmen Park was built in 1931.
  • Davenport is part of the Quad Cites which is actually 5 cities. Besides Davenport, the others included are: Moline Illinois, Rock Island Illinois, Bettendorf Iowa, and East Moline Illinois.
  • Davenport gets an estimated 30 inches of snow every winter! That's a lot of snow!
We had fun with our mini lesson this week, and I will try and post pics of our loose meat sandwiches if I can remember. Thanks for stopping by!

This has been part of the Blogging Through the Alphabet series, so please go visit our hosts, A Net in Time, and Hopkins Homeschool!

A Net In Time Schooling

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

C is for Colombia ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

So far picking a location is part of the fun for my kids. My daughter had several places that start with "C" picked out so she tossed them all into a cup and drew one. Colombia was it!

Colombia was named after Christopher Columbus. 

Colombian Flag:

What continent is Colombia on? Colombia is also on South America just like Brazil!

What is the capital of Colombia? Bogota

What kind of government does Colombia have? Colombia is a Republic and has a strong Executive Branch that takes dominance over the government. They also have a legislative and judicial branch.

What are the people called that live there? They are Colombians!

What is the official language spoken here? Spanish

What kind of animals is this place known for? Columbia has the largest number of terrestrial mammals species in the world, in other words, mammals on land.

Spectacled Bear
  • Spectacled Bear which is similar to the Giant Panda in Asia
  • The Colombian Woolly Monkey
  • The Red Howler Monkey
  • The Mountain Tapir
  • The Giant Anteater
  • The Giant Armadillo
These are just a few of them!

Famous People in History from Colombia: Gabriel Garcia Marquez who was a Nobel Prize Winner in Literature, Juan Pablo Montoya (race car driver), and Fernando Botero who is a famous sculptor and painter.

Fun Facts:

Columbia's official name is the Republic of Colombia

Columbia shares land borders with 5 other countries that include Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru.

The currency of Colombia is called the Colombian peso.

Colombia has a population of over 45 million people!

The most popular sport in Colombia is also football or what we call soccer.

Thank you for checking out our place of the week!

If you would like to read more Blogging Through the Alphabet posts, please head over to our host's pages. A Net in Time and Hopkins Homeschool!

Hopkins Homeschool