Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ulyne Unicorn Scarf by Thevelvetacorn - Crochet Corner

So a couple of years ago, I decided to teach myself how to crochet, and I have never looked back. It was something that my Granny did before she passed away, and she was a pro at it! I had only hoped to keep that art alive so that I could feel a little closer to her when I did it. In an odd way, it helped me deal with her passing, because it reminded me of her. I just wish I could have learned it earlier to show her, because she would have been super proud. She had tried to teach me when I was young, but I was left handed and she was right handed, and it was hard for me to understand. Now that I crochet, I don't even hold my hook the same way as she did, but I get it done, so I guess that's all that matters! It has become one of my favorite hobbies now, and I have created so much more than I could have ever imagined. I decided to start this little space on my blog so that I could share with you what I've been working on, and also share the patterns that I have used.

Yes, I buy patterns. I am not good enough yet to create it on my own, so I am thankful that there are people out there that were blessed with that talent. Some of the patterns I love, and some I have regretted buying. I will let you know here what I think of them, if I use something new, and also where you can buy it.

So I was asked to make the Ulyne Unicorn Hooded Scarf by Thevelvetacorn. First of all, I LOVE the patterns from Thevelvetacorn. Her patterns are beautiful every time, and most of all, easy to understand. They usually run in the $5 to $6 range, but are honestly worth it. She puts a lot of time into her patterns, so I don't mind paying the money for it.

So this precious scarf may look complicated, but it's not, and it turned out gorgeous!! It is for a gift for a little girl, so I couldn't get good pictures. My 15 year old decided to help me out, but of course it doesn't fit her correctly. If you go to Thevelvetacorn's page for this pattern on Etsy, you can see better pics of it.

Now obviously on a small girl this would be a scarf that hangs down long enough for her to use the pockets at the bottom. This pic is just to show how it goes on. 

I absolutely love how it turned out, and I will update after I get pics with the actual client's daughter wearing it.

If you would like to purchase the Ulyne Unicorn Scarf pattern, or any other of Thevelvetacorn's patterns, you can head on over to her shop on Etsy to purchase them.

Let me know what you've been working on or if you have any patterns that you absolutely love!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Day at McKenna Children's Museum ~ Wordless Wednesday

Today we took my sweet grand doll to the McKenna Children's Museum in New Braunfels, TX. It is geared for young kids, but my 11 year old and 15 year old had just as much fun as the baby!

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Magnolia Story ~ What I've Been Reading

Chip and Joanna Gaines are super stars when it comes to house flipping, and I have watched their show Fixer Upper on HGTV from the beginning. When I heard that they were writing a book, I knew I had to run out and buy it!

I love this couple so much. Chip is hilarious and witty, but Joanna Gaines has a way of becoming an inspiration and friend to people she doesn't even know. I love how the book is written, almost as if we are sitting around having a cup of coffee with them. When I picked up the book, I honestly thought it was just going to be the average story of when two people fell in love, but it was so much more.

First, this book made me laugh more than anything. I don't know how many times I had to run and read a page or 2 to my husband because the story was just something that had to be shared. There were also some serious moments and testaments of faith that the couple shared. The way God works in their lives is amazing. Their faith and love for God shows throughout the book, and God has always had a hand in everything they've worked for.

I would definitely recommend reading this book whether you follow them or not. It is every bit as good as their show, and it showcases their personalities perfectly. It also has a few pages of pictures that I really enjoyed seeing too. All in all I give this book 5 stars, and I just may have to read it again!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Well another Turkey Day is down for the books. It was a busy week this week with grocery shopping, school, and cooking. We cooked for 3 days and it took us about 15 minutes to eat. The funny thing is this year, we stayed home so it was only the 5 of us, but I cooked enough food for 40 people. Needless to say, I went overboard, but I promised them a Thanksgiving feast, and that's what they got. I don't know if I will ever learn to cook for a small group of people. I've always cooked for a crowd, and I like it that way.

We had smoked turkey, ham, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, cream corn, spinach and artichoke dip, sweet potato casserole, and homemade rolls. Don't get me started on the desserts. Oreo in a bowl, my granny's famous applesauce pie, chocolate cream pie, and gluten free cake for Gavin. I really think I have enough for 3 more dinners. I have to say we are blessed to have that much food. I just wish we had someone to share it with.

Holidays are always bittersweet for me because I love big family functions. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my people that live here, but it's always fun to see extended family too. It just doesn't work out that we can all be together because everyone has such busy lives, and other people to see. I'm very blessed to have spent the day with my hubby and 3 of my 4 kids, but I was definitely missing Baylie and Mila. Hopefully one day, we can make holidays big family functions again. I woud love that.

So, I just wanted to write a quick post to say that I'm thankful for Jesus, my husband, and my kids...among many other things. I am so happy that I was able to spend this time with the people I love.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Biology 101 from the 101 Series ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

So it had come time for my daughter who's in 10th grade to take Biology, and I was honestly dreading trying to find a course for her. I was really excited to see that Biology 101 from the 101 Series was coming up for review, because it honestly sounded perfect to fit our needs.

This is the first time I have ever used anything in the 101 Series, so I was curious about who they were. Westfield Studios was founded in 2003 by a homeschooling couple, Wes and Tammy Olson, who homeschooled all 4 of their children. When Tammy was looking for a Biology curriculum for her two high school aged boys, she was having trouble finding something that would fit their needs. Wes, who had years of corporate film experience, helped her create the perfect curriculum for their children. And so, the 101 Series was born. I am always so excited to use products that are created by other homeschooling families.

What did we recieve for this review?

Biology 101 is made up of 4 DVDs, all from a Biblical Perspective. This is also something that is very important to our family, especially when it comes to teaching Science. You will also receive a printable PDF Guidebook, and a 12 page "Course Accreditation Program" booklet if you want to use this a one year course for your student.

How does Biology 101 work?

So we are doing the Course Accreditation Program since Edyn is using this as a full year of curriculum. I LOVE that they lay everything out for you, so that it makes it easy to do. This program is set up to give your student 135 hours of biology study and 20 hours of lab work. They will be doing activities such as:

  • Watching the DVDs and using the Guidebook
  • Making a Biology 101 Notebook to ensure that they have a place to keep and record their work
  • Research and Lab Reports
  • Discussion Questions
  • Conducting fun and easy labs
  • Taking field trips
  • Using the web and library for additional resources

The DVDs in Biology 101 are the main event in this curriculum. I could tell after just the first day of Edyn using this that she was learning, and she was enjoying it! She watches the DVDs, and while watching takes her own notes, because it helps her remember better. There are 11 segments that are then divided into 27 weeks of study. After watching the DVDs you have the guidebook which is some of the valuable information from the videos in print, but also contains your discussion questions and quizzes.

It is Creation based so this course starts with an Introduction and then moves into Day 3 which is Plants. Edyn has really enjoyed learning about plants and the parts of plants. She has taken her own notes, and we have had some great discussions about plants. The other topics of Creation that will be covered in Biology 101 will be:

  • Aquatic Creatures
  • Avian Creatures
  • Land Animals (Part 1 and 2)
  • Mankind Part 1 - brain, senses, skeletal and muscular systems
  • Mankind Part 2 - circulatory, digestive, lymphatic, endocrine, human developement
  • Biology History, Cells, and Genetics

What have we thought so far?

I am really impressed with the information that's packed into this curriculum. Edyn says that it's fun and engaging and she's excited to keep learning more about Biology. She was really dreading taking Biology, but I think using this curriculum has changed her mind. I think the fact that it's Creation based makes it even better, and you can rest easy knowing that this is true information. I am looking forward to using the other courses offered in the 101 Series too which are Physics 101 and Chemistry 101.

Physics, Chemistry & Biology 101 {The 101 Series}

Physics, Chemistry & Biology 101 {The 101 Series}

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If you would like to read other reviews on Biology 101 and other products in the 101 Series, click the banner below!

Physics, Chemistry & Biology 101 {The 101 Series}
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Monday, November 14, 2016

Commissioned by Chara Games ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

One of our favorite ways to spend time as a family is playing board games, but sometimes it's good to just play alone with my husband so that we can get some quality "us" time in. We have had the chance to review a really unique and fun board game called Commissioned by Chara Games over the last few weeks, and it's proven to be one of our favorites!

What is Chara Games?

Patrick and Katherine Lysaght wanted to design table top games with Christian themes to bring families and friends together. Chara is the greek word for JOY, and that's exactly what they want people to experience while playing their games. Pure JOY!

Lets talk about the game...

Commissioned is a historically themed cooperative deck building game for ages 14 and up. You don't play against each other, you play together against the game, and let me tell you. It's not easy, but it is loads of fun!!

First, I want to take a minute and talk about how well this game is made, because I was impressed. It is constructed of good thick cardboard, from the box it comes in to the game board itself. All of the pieces are well made, so that this game will last you for years and years. The colors are vibrant and beautiful throughout all pieces of the game.

The game is composed of quite few pieces because it's very intricate and detailed. In the game you will receive:

  • 1 double sided game board
  • 5 double sided scenario cards
  • 6 unique player boards
  • 96 faith cards
  • 27 trial cards
  • 4 wood missionary meeples
  • 75 wood church member cubes
  • 1 wood elder's staff
  • 6 wood player pawns
  • 30 double sided stop tokens
  • 5 double sided extinguish tokens
  • 1 converted city leader's token
  • 1 Roman Legion token
  • 1 8-sided die
  • 1 rule book
  • 1 Theme Appendix
Ok, so let me start by saying this. This is not a sit down and start playing in 5 minutes type of game. It's got a lot of rules, and a lot of components. My husband took one look at the rule book and decided that he hasn't ever played a board game that was so detailed.

It looks way more complicating and intimidating than it really is. We ended up watching the video that tells you how to play, because we are much more visual learners. Like I said before, it's for 14 and up, and there's very good reason for that. My daughter who's 15 wasn't into it at all, so we decided to see if the 11 year old wanted to play. He was ok at first, but ended up getting a little confused, so we will wait a little longer before he plays again. It states that it takes about an hour to finish. We have experienced that it takes longer than that for us, but my husband is a critical thinker, so he takes his time. The first time took us about 3 hours, and then we got it down to around 2.

First, there are 5 different scenarios you can play! We played "Acts of Apostles" and stuck with that one because we wanted to get good at it enough to win! The object of the scenario we played, is to build up your churches, and to have a church in every city on the map while also collecting all of the bible cards. This sounds easy enough, but there is only one way to win, and basically 2 ways to lose!

In the beginning you choose which apostle that you want to be, and grab their apostle card and matching pawn. Each apostle has cards that has his special skill on it. As you play you will add to these cards and build your deck from the faith cards.

A turn consists of 3 to 4 different stages I guess you would call it. You first ARM yourself, or in other words, draw your cards. Then you LIVE, and this stage is broken down into mini stages. After all of that you Mature. This is where you will start building your deck.

You have to have a church in every city, and you have to have all of the bible cards at the bottom of the board to win. You will run into many scenarios with those Trial cards that will try and extinguish your churches that you have already worked so hard to build. If you extinguish them all, game over.

What did we think?

Like I said, at first we were wondering what we got ourselves into, but within a short period of time, this turned into one of our favorite games! It is so much fun, and works well for us because we work together to win. I can't wait to sit down with family and friends this holiday season and play this game with more people. It will definitely remain a go to game for us!!

Stay tuned because I will also be reviewing another game by Chara Games soon called 3 Seeds!

Commissioned {Chara Games}

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Chara Games was very generous and let 70 of us review this game! To read other reviews, just click the banner below.

Commissioned {Chara Games}

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