Friday, January 27, 2017

Control ~ Five Minute Friday

This week's Five Minute Friday prompt from our host Kate Motaung, is all about Control.

Control. This word should be considered a 4 letter word in my mind. I am the kind of person that if I feel out of control, then I feel like I'm lost. It's not with everything, well yeah it is. Let's not kid ourselves here.

I do not like any situation that I don't feel like I'm in control of. I guess not many people enjoy feeling out of control, but with me it seems to consume me at times. The lack of control in situations gives me such anxiety that it's almost paralyzing.

I know in my heart of hearts that God is begging me to TRUST HIM!! Stop trying to take the reigns in situations that I have no control over! I want to just hand them over to him, willingly, and completely forget about that horrible word, CONTROL. I can feel the battle taking place within me to stop holding on to these situations with every bit of strength that I have until I'm completely exhausted, and just let God have the contol in all of it. I'm working on it. I know He's working in me. I know He's bound to be frustrated with me, but thankfully I serve an understanding God who is willing to wait for me.

To read other Five Minute Friday posts, click the link below!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Brazil ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

This week, Gavin has decided that we will visit Brazil!

It's name derives from the Brazilwood tree. In the beginning it was called "Ilha de Vera Cruz", but was renamed when they realized it was not an island.

What continent is Brazil on? South America! Brazil is actually the largest country in South America!

What is the capital of Brazil? Brasilia

What kind of government does Brazil have? Brazil has a government very similar to the United States. It is a federal and constitutional republic with executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Brazil has more political parties than the U.S., but they do also have a President who serves for 4 years, and can then be re-elected for another 4 years. 

What are the people called that live there? Brazilians or Brasileiros (Brazilian Portuguese)

What is the official language spoken here? Portuguese

What kind of animals is this place know for? Brazil is a tropical climate, so there are a wide variety of animals there. Some included are armadillo, tapir, jaguars, and puma. They also have piranhas!

Famous people in history: Quite a few Brazilian footballers including Neymar, and Ronaldinho. I had never heard of them before, but we do know the super model, Gisele Bundchen, who also comes from Brazil.

Fun Facts:
  • In Brazil the drive on the right hand side of the road
  • Brazil covers 3 time zones!
  • Brazil has one of the largest economies in the world.
  • It is one of the 77 founding members of the United Nations.
  • 60% of the Amazon Rainforest is located in Brazil.
  • There are close to 2500 airports in Brazil!
  • Football, or what we call soccer, is the most popular sport in Brazil.

We had a lot of fun learning about Brazil this week! If you would like to read more Blogging Through the Alphabet posts, please head over to our hosts pages, A Net in Time and Hopkins Homeschool!

Hopkins Homeschool

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A is for Antarctica ~ Blogging through the Alphabet

It's that time of year again to start Blogging Through the Alphabet. I really like participating in this because you can do so much with it. I asked the kids if they would like to do something and make it a theme this year. We talked about several different topics that we could use, but in the end they agreed on Places around the World.

So, once a week we will be visiting a place that starts with our letter from of the week, and learning fun facts about it. This week, the kids have chosen Antarctica for A!

is the Greek word for 
"opposite to the North"

This week's destination is: A Continent! Antarctica is actually the southern most continent on Earth! It is surrounded by the Southern Ocean, and is where the South Pole is located.

What kind of Government does this place have? Antarctica doesn't have a government. It does not belong to any one country.

What are the people called that live there? This is actually funny, because people do not reside in Antarctica permanently. There are people that live and work in the the research facilities there. 

What kind of animals is this place known for? The well known animals that live in Antarctica are whales, seals, albatrosses, sea birds, and penguins.

Famous people in history: This is kind of a hard question for Antarctica. The people have been mainly explorers who have gone on expeditions here, the first being not that long ago in 1911!

Fun Facts: 
  • The first confirmed sighting of this continent was in 1820
  • Around 90% of the ice on Earth is found on Antarctica!
  • It is the largest desert in the world!
  • It is the coldest, windiest, driest, and highest place on Earth.
  • Seasons in Antarctica are the opposite of seasons in the North. Summer runs from October to February and the rest of the year is winter. 
  • There are no countries in Antarctica.
  • About 70% of the Earth's fresh water is in the Antarctic ice cap.
  • Ice in Antarctica can get to more than 4 km thick in some places!!
We have enjoyed our quick study of Antarctica this week. The kids were really impressed with how thick the ice can get! I can't wait to see where they want to learn about next week!

If you would like to see what other's have written about this week, please head over to our hosts, A Net in Time and Hopkins Homeschool to check them out!

A Net In Time Schooling

Friday, January 13, 2017

"Middle" ~ Five Minute Friday

As I was scrolling along in the forum for The Homeschool Review Crew, I saw a post about doing a 5 Minute Friday Post and decided why not! Here goes my first post...

The word Middle is the prompt for this week. 

In the middle is how I feel right now with everything going on in our lives. We are in the middle of a lease and now the owner of the house has decided to sell it. We are in the middle of trying to decide what to do when the lease is up. We are in the middle of family drama that should have never happened. We are in the middle of our feelings with that right now. We are in the middle of just trying to figure everything out, and what we want to do.

I am so unsettled and ready to just feel at peace with all of the stress we have whirling all around us. I'm tired of being in the middle, and I'm honestly ready to just feel like I'm on top. I want to be settled and happy with no stress, and to feel like we can move on from the "middle" of things that we are dealing with right now. A girl can dream right?

I want to feel like I can move on from this season we are in so that we don't have to be in the middle anymore, and we can put it all in the past.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What's been going on with us?

I haven't really made many blog posts lately because it has just been crazy around here since the holidays. I have been busy, but not with anything that's super important. It's just honestly

We took some time off to just enjoy the holidays, and spend time together. I got to have my sweet grand baby here for a week, and we had a such a great time with her. My husband also had some time off and we mostly spent that time Christmas shopping, and making fun cookies and desserts with the kids. It was a nice break from the stress we've been having to endure over the last couple of months.

If you remember, back in May we moved into a house that was about 17 miles from the house we were living in. We loved the community and wanted to be a part of it, so we saved up enough money and made the move. It was expensive. It was a headache. It was a nightmare. The house needed multiple things done to it and was not ready to be rented out, but here we were, and had to move in right then because we didn't have a choice. It wasn't anything crazy, but it needed to be cleaned and painted, and have some minor work done to it. I wasn't happy, but we got it painted etc and looking more like a home that I could be proud of.

So back around October, I get an email stating that the owner has decided to sell our house. I kind of just brushed it off because we had a lot going on with Gavin and the time. A few week's later, they tell me that a realtor will be coming by to see the house. Of course now I have to have my house looking perfect, because I'm sure he's going to take pictures. I was already annoyed about that since these pictures would be all over the Internet and they will include all of our things. He shows up and is a complete jerk. He started telling me how things were going to go, or so he thought, and that he was going to put a lock box on my house. He also said that we would have to leave every time they wanted to show the house, and that it should be EASIER since I homeschool! It took all I had to not come completely unglued! Yes let me interrupt our lives for complete strangers to come walking through our house. I don't think so.

 I'm the type of person who will bend over backwards to help other people. I will try my best to accommodate someone, but this was absolutely ridiculous. I put a stop to it real quick. Long story short, I called the property managers and told them everything he said. He had lied about a lot of it including telling me that my lease stated I had to do all of the things he said. It didn't say anything about any of it.

So, we have been having showings all of the time. It's an intrusion, and definitely disrupting our lives. I have to keep my house picked up all of the time, which I try to do anyway, but we live here. Some days are worse than others. I'm praying that they get all of their stuff together because I'm so over it. I'm so tired of random people coming into my house every day. Hopefully it's over soon, and then we will have to decide if we are going to stay here, or move.

So, that's about all that's been going on here. We are officially back to school this week, and I am happy about it. I will try and get some good posts up in the coming weeks.

I hope you all have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Beginner's Bible by Zonderkidz ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

I was really excited about my first review of the 2017 year! This book is something that I was already familiar with because I used it everyday when I taught Pre-K a few years ago. It was one of my favorite books to start off our mornings. The Beginner's Bible by Zonderkidz is a great way to really get younger kids into the Word everyday.

This is the second product by Zonderkidz that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. Last year I reviewed the Faith Builders Bible, and loved it. They did not fall short on The Beginner's Bible either. It is just as nice as the one we reviewed before.

If you've never heard of Zonderkidz let me tell you a little bit about them. Zonderkidz is the children's group for the Bible company Zondervan. They publish age-appropriate books, Bibles, gifts, and videos that focus on children 12 and under. They pride themselves in teaching young children to learn and love the Bible.

All about The Beginner's Bible ~

The Beginner's Bible has been a family favorite since it was released back in 1989 with over 25 million sold. It has recently been redesigned with easy to read text and bright and vibrant full color illustrations. The 3D artwork takes the illustrations to a whole new level, and really helps bring the Bible stories to life. The stories included are from both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

I also love the fact that there's a Table of Contents in the front of the book so that you can easily find any story you are looking for. When I would read these stories to my kids in Pre-K, I would choose a story that would go along with the letter that they were working on that week. For example, for the letter "D", we would study Daniel and the Lion's Den.

Along with the actual Bible itself there are games, an app, coloring pages, and downloadable resources that you can find online. There are also other products available including The Beginner's Bible for Little Ones which is a padded board book. It will be available in May of 2017. Other products available now are The Beginner's Bible Deluxe Edition that includes two audio CD's with narration, music, and sound effects. Also available now is The Beginner's Bible Collectors Edition.

How did we use The Beginner's Bible?

When I saw that this Bible was up for review, I immediately had my sweet grand baby in mind. My children are older, but honestly still enjoyed hearing the stories read from the Bible. The beautiful illustrations jumped out to her even though she's only 2. She loved all of the beautiful colors as I read the stories to her. We started at the beginning, which is about The Beginning. I love that this book tells the stories at a child's level. It makes it much easier for them to understand. By the time she's older, she will know and understand all of these wonderful stories in the Bible.

What did we think about The Beginner's Bible?

Of course we love this Bible, and I can't say enough good things about it. It's bright and colorful, and absolutely brings the Bible to life! Even though The Beginner's Bible by Zonderkidz is geared towards 6 and under, I think that older kids would still enjoy it. I hope that my grand baby enjoys this for years to come!

Be sure to follow along on Social Media!

If you would like to read other reviews, just click the banner below!

The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}

Crew Disclaimer

3 Seeds by Chara Games ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

If you've read my reviews before then I know I've mentioned how much I love playing games with the family. We recently had the chance to review 3 Seeds by Chara Games, and we had so much fun doing it. This is the second game we've had the pleasure of reviewing my Chara Games and it didn't disappoint!

Who is Chara Games?

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

Let's talk about the game ~

3 Seeds is a card game for 2-5 players and takes around 30 to 45 minutes to play. It is recommended for players 12 and up. Included in the game are:
  • 30 Seed cards
  • 20 Crop cards
  • 14 Harvest cards
  • 17 Event cards
  • 3 Reference cards
  • 1 turn marker
  • 5 colored scoring cubes
  • 8 blue 50 point tokens
  • 1 score card

Upon receiving the game, I was once again impressed with the quality of the game, just as I was with their game Commissioned. They do not cut corners when it comes to quality. The box that it comes in is a nice heavy duty card board. The cards in the game are very vibrant in color and the pawns are made of wood. I love that it is so well made, because that means it will last awhile if taken care of. 

So the game is called 3 Seeds and it's all about reap where you sow. The goal of the game is to get the highest points by sowing into crops with the highest harvest returns. 

There are 5 different colors of "seed" cards. Each player will choose what color they want to be. The seed cards consist of 2 Labor, 2 Money, and 2 Time cards. Each player will will shuffle their seed cards and put them face down. Each player will also receive 1 Crop card to be placed face up, 1 Harvest card to be placed face down, and 1 Event card that is also placed face down. The rest of the Harvest, Event, and Crop cards are placed in the middle of the table. 

When it is your turn, you will draw 3 seed cards from the top of your deck. You will then decide which crop card you want to sow into. It can be any player's crop card that is in play. You will decide whether you want to sow in time, labor, or money into that crop. It will tell you on the crop card how many of each one you will need in order to harvest that card. You will be able to play 2 of the 3 cards that you draw. When you're done you place the 3rd seed card back on the top of your deck. If you complete a harvest, you mark the points you make on the score card by multiplying how many of your cards were used for that crop by the number on the Harvest card. You keep the crop card that was harvested so that you can add the extra points to your total at the end of the game. You will then draw a new Crop card and new Harvest card to play. Each player also has Event cards that have different scenarios on them for you to use throughout the game.

When all of the Crop cards have been played, the game is over. The person with the most points wins.

What did we think about 3 Seeds?

We had a lot of fun with this game. It's easy to understand and fun to play. I think I would recommend this for any family that wants to add a fun game to their collection. My kids that played it were 11 and 15 and both enjoyed it and have asked to play again and again!

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year! My word for 2017 is...

Happy New Year!! It's a time for new beginnings, so I wanted to let you know what my word for the year is. After having a word to focus on last year, I decided that I really wanted to start praying and see what word the Lord had in mind for me this year. The funny thing is that He had been stressing this word for me for some time so it really wasn't hard to decide. My word, thankful, has been on my mind for a few months, and it's something I have really been trying to be aware of.

The definition of thankful is "expressing gratitude and relief." I am going to admit that sometimes I have an issue with that, but only in certain aspects of my life. So, what I'm saying is that if someone was to give me a gift, I would be forever thankful and appreciative of it, no matter what it was. If someone was to do a nice thing for me, I would be thankful and appreciative of that also. My issue lies with the fact that I find myself complaining over the things that I should be thankful for. Things that I take for granted. I need to set my focus on the things that I do have, and that I am blessed with people who love me. I need to be more thankful for the things that God has blessed me with.

I think that I am causing pain and strife in my own life because I am forgetting to be thankful to God for everything He's done for us. I pray, I thank God for providing for my family, but I forget to be thankful in ALL things. Without God, who knows where we would be, and I honestly don't want to know. I need to stop complaining that I have a house that isn't perfect, but thankful that I have a house at all. I need to stop complaining that life is hard all of the time and be thankful that it's not worse. Little things like that.

God doesn't want me to be thankful for only a certain few things. He wants me to be thankful in ALL things. So along with my word, I'm going to really be standing on 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

I am going to try my hardest to be more intentional in being thankful for all of the things that God has done for me and my family. I will keep you posted on how it's going, and the changes that I'm sure I will see because of this!

Do you have a word that you will be focusing on this year? If so share it in the comments!

I hope you all have a wonderful and prosperous new year!

Homeschool Review Crew Reflecting on 2016