Today's Wisdom

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Homeschool Highlights | Week 9 | Let's Go Camping!

We took 2 weeks to complete our Week 9 school work and threw a camping trip right in the middle. Oh, the flexibility of homeschooling. We can work around my husband's schedule which is different each week and take a mid week camping trip to soak up some rest and relaxation. Roasted marshmallows for breakfast - oh yes I did!!

So this week's pictures are all from camping. I have to tell you about this tent. (affiliate link) It advertised that it could be set up in 30 seconds. Well, it may have taken us a whole minute including reading the instructions - no joke!! Sarah, Stephen, and I set it up ourselves in less than a minute. Taking it down is just as easy. I cannot recommend it enough!

It was nice to have Jonathan join us too!

Some of the trails and campsites were still a little flooded from Hurricane Matthew.  

Playing cards is always a favorite camping past time for us.  

No words needed!

Guess who did a little carving?  :)

If you think you would like to be a part of the Homeschool Review Crew, applications for the 2017 school year are currently being accepted but hurry they are ending soon! It is such a blessing to our family to be able to try new curriculum. You can read more about applying here.

I'm linking up with Homeschool Highlights. Click the button to link up for yourself and to find out more!

Homeschool Coffee Break

Also linking up with Weekly Wrap-Up.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Shop Online For Gifts Using Groupon Goods | #Groupon #ad

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine. 

Christmas is now only 56 days away! This is the time when I like to begin my Christmas shopping preparation so that I am not so overwhelmed when the day arrives. With the internet at our fingertips, Christmas shopping no longer has to be a dreaded notion. 

I've just recently found out that Groupon not only offers great deals on services but they now offer products too! They have a massive selection of products to choose from so finding a gift for each of member of my family just became that much simpler. I also began to make my own Christmas wishlist to share with my family. They always want me to give them gift ideas so I've been perusing the site to add items to my wishlist. Then I'll hand it over to them so they can pick and choose what they would like to get me- so easy!

As I searched through the site, I found the first item that I wanted to add to my wishlist. For the past two years, I have become an avid Fitbit fan. I wear my Fitbit daily and love changing out the bands.

Here's me wearing my Fitbit while having a little conversation with my friend. HA!

I've been wanting a little classier band to wear to church on Sunday mornings. While searching, I found these beautiful replacement bands for my Fitbit Alta. You can easily begin to build your own wishlist by clicking on the "Add to wishlist" button once you find an item that you like.

Christmas shopping just got a whole lot easier around here! The site is so simple and easy to use and will help me save money too. Be sure to stop by Groupon Goods to ease your Christmas shopping too. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

What's on your Christmas wishlist this year? 

Share your favorite Groupon deal! I need more ideas.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review of CrossTimber Personalized Products | #CrossTimber #gift

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

CrossTimber is a unique family run business who specialize in name meaning gifts.  The owners were homeschooled and now homeschool their own children.  I found myself laughing out loud as I read how their name meaning business venture began.  I could also relate to the story having sent two of my own children to a public school driver's ed program.  You can read more about their story here. Their products not only include the meaning of the recipient's name but they also add in a Bible verse to go with the name meaning. They offer several categories of vibrant and colorful graphics to choose from to add to your product. The image categories are Faith & Inspiration, Animals & Creatures, People & Relationships, and The Great Outdoors. 

We had the opportunity to review the Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse, and I had that personalized for my daughter. Perusing the website at all the beautiful images available, I also decided to purchase two additional coffee mugs for my boys as well.

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

Products currently available from CrossTimber are:

Name Meaning Gifts:
Name Plaques
Large, Two Name Plaques
Coffee Mugs
Name Music Boxes

Custom Bible Verse Gifts:
Scripture Plaques
Large, Bible Verse Plaques
Bible Verse Coffee Mugs
Bible Verse Music Boxes

All of my children were so excited when I presented them with their gifts! There is just something about seeing your unique name on an item that pushes it over the top.  My original intent was to keep these for Christmas gifts but I just could not wait!

We received our gift items just after Hurricane Matthew departed and our package looked a little like it might have floated down the river to reach us. My first thought was, "there is no way those coffee mugs can be in one piece." Well, I was extremely happy to open up the package and see that they were completely in tact - not even a chip!

The coffee mugs were made of heavy ceramic and the images have a glossy finish making the colors really pop on those white 11oz mugs. There are many options available for an additional charge to help you personalize your gifts including personal message inscriptions, gift boxes, left handed or right handed mugs, mugs that fit together with heart handles, or just adding a name or a Bible verse to mug.

The name plaque we choose came in a 5x7 glossy print and is labeled as smudge free and fade free. We chose the metallic-brown frame and I was pleasantly pleased with the quality. It measures approx 6x9 and comes in a shiny brown metallic color. It is plastic but the color finish makes it seem metal. It includes a small hook for hanging and a stand. The color and style matched the name print we chose beautifully! The name plaques have 4 styles of frames to choose from and vary in price from $23-$29.95 + shipping. Those prices include the name print and frame. You also have the option of just choosing the 5x7 name meaning print itself if you wish. You can order those prints by mail or as a PDF printable and both cost $18 each + shipping . 

Since I ordered 3 items, I received a 10% discount off my order and matching bookmarks or pocket cards which made my gift a little more special. You can also receive that same offer. See the graphic below for additional discounts! I think these products will make perfect Christmas gifts!

These are also wonderful gift ideas for that friend whose name is not spelled the traditional way or for the friend who has a unique name altogether. What I loved most about these products are the Bible verses that are researched and chosen to accompany the name meanings. What a beautiful way to share God's Word with family and friends!

Until December 4th, 2016 you can enter to win your very own personalized name meaning product or a $10 gift certificate by entering the giveaway below.

CrossTimber 2016 giveaway

Curious to find out your name meaning? CrossTimber will be glad to assist you with that free of charge! Their love of researching names really shines through in their product line.  Simply visit their website, click on the chat box, and find out what your name means.

Find out more by visiting CrossTimber on Facebook and Pinterest.

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Why We Homeschool | Virtual Homeschool Coop Assignment 5 | #VHC

the Virtual Homeschool Coop || Coordinating Collaborations to Grow the Homeschool Community of Knowledge
This response is my part of the Virtual Homeschool Coop Channel Collaboration. You can find out more at The goal of the Virtual Homeschool Coop is to build the homeschool community of knowledge with collaborations to give voice to all experiences in homeschooling.

Assignment #5 
What is your reason to homeschool?

What was your original reason? 

I first felt the call to homeschool when my oldest was in preschool. He has now graduated - say what?! We began doing some preschool at home when he was 4. At that time, I also had a 1 year old and found out that I was pregnant with my 3rd on the way. You can just say that I was feeling a little overwhelmed, unsure, and confused. Was I really suppose to be homeschooling? Instead of facing my fear head on, I pushed it away and took the easy route and decided to send my son to public school. 

Long story short, he stayed there until 4th grade and my middle child also went until 1st grade. The feeling that we were suppose to be homeschooling never left the back of my mind and it kept coming up over and over again. I was at the school more than I was at home helping in the class rooms, etc. My oldest began to really struggle academically especially when it came to testing time (hence the reason I can't stand end of the grade tests). He passed each grade but it was tough on him and me. We were both exhausted with homework struggles and fatigue from schedules, when finally I decided to research homeschooling again and this time for good! 

Did it have to do with a situation or was homeschooling a lifestyle that you knew you wanted?

Both, we wanted to teach our children first and foremost God's Word. I also wanted their education to be centered around Christ and that ain't happening in a public school! I wanted them to have the opportunity to try sports and extra curricular activities while they were young and that won't happening with homework struggles.

Have your reasons changed on why you homeschool?

No, we continue to love the flexibility that homeschooling allows our family and we also love having the opportunity to center all our school subjects around God. 

So how about you - what is your reason for homeschooling?

If you would like to join the Coop, go here to learn more. Every person has a unique voice!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Would You Like To Join The Homeschool Review Crew? Applications now being accepted!


If you think you would like to be a part of the Homeschool Review Crew, applications for the 2017 school year are currently being accepted. It is hard to put into words just what a blessing the crew has been for our family but I will try. 


The Homeschool Review Crew has been a part of our family for the past 6 years now! We have had the amazing opportunity to build some great friendships and we absolutely love being able to have so many hands on opportunities to review homeschool products and curriculum. We have found so many treasures that we are still using in our homeschool since joining the Homeschool Review Team. 

One of our all time favorite products that we reviewed has to be the historical series from YWAM Publishing.  We have not only made them our read aloud books but my son has requested to use them for his literature credit this year.  Had we not reviewed that first book, I don't know that I would have ever tried them.  

I remember when we first began homeschooling and devouring any posts about curriculum and homeschool days. It can be overwhelming and I want to help others out the same way that I was helped out.  It really is a blessing to be able to share our thoughts on these products with you! 

Along that same line of thought, we each have a unique voice to share.  Our families are all different but often times just seeing how a product is being used in another homeschool family's life will be just the thing you've been searching for to fit your own child.  So, let's hear as many voices as we can and work together to encourage each other in our homeschooling journeys.  

You can read more about the qualifications of the Homeschool Review Crew here and if you do decide to join, please let them know that I sent you.  Once you are ready to apply, you can do that here.  Looking forward to meeting some new faces and hearing some new voices!

Click the banner below to find out how the crew has blessed so many.

What being on the Crew means ...

Review of The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection | #familymanministries

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

There are only 68 sleeps until Christmas 2016! Can you believe that? It seems like we were just putting away last year's decorations around here. The key to a successful Christmas for me is always planning ahead of time so I am not overwhelmed as we have several traditions we like to do each year. I was thrilled when the opportunity to review the Digital Downloads from The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection came available. These audios are written by The Familyman, also known as homeschooling dad and author, Todd Wilson.
The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews
If you are familiar with any of Todd Wilson's works then you will know that his sense of humor shines through all he touches. Each story is read by master storyteller, Jim Hodges. His character voice reflections are hilarious and really help you feel like you are watching the story unfold instead of just listening to it. These audio books were the perfect companion to our basketball practice driving time. We received the Digital Downloads of each audio book. They are in MP3 format so I transferred them to my phone so that we could listen to them in our van. We also received a single CD of The Stranger. I thought I would prefer the CD format but transferring the files was no problem at all so both are great options.

Not only are each of these stories engaging and funny but each one contains its own teaching lesson. Specifically, each audio book always points you back to Jesus. I'm going to try to give you a little synopsis of each and hopefully not spoil any of the stories for you.

The titles included in this series collection are:

  • Captain Chaos and The Manger Blaster - This story will be fun for those in your family who love superheroes. This superhero grows tired of hearing and doing the same old traditions every Christmas so he gets a glimpse of what life would be like without some of those traditions. This story lasts for 19 minutes and 21 seconds. 
  • Cootie McKay's Nativity - When the town hall nativity ends up involved in a car wreck, no one can believe it when Cootie McKay, one of the town's oddest characters, saves the day. After all, he had created a turtle out of hubcaps for his front porch. What could possibly go wrong? This story lasts 30 minutes and 45 seconds. 
  • The Stranger - This story details a homeless stranger in town who visits the members of the same congregation in the local town church. Unfortunately, instead of receiving the help he needs, he is sent away over and over again until he visits the home of the Pastor. The stranger is Jesus and the question to ponder is how you would respond if Jesus came to visit your home in the form of a homeless beggar. This story lasts 18 minutes and 9 seconds. 
  • The Bishop's Dream - This story centers around Bishop Nicolas who goes around sharing the love of Jesus with the children of the poor. One night as he is reading his Bible, he falls into a deep sleep and begins to dream. In this dream, Bishop Nicolas discovers the commercialism that is the Christmas we know today. Bishop Nicolas is soon saddened to discover that this dream shows his very own story and that people were placing him above his Savior. This story lasts for 20 minutes and 16 seconds. 
  • Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest - The day after Thanksgiving, Isaac's dad digs deep down in his closet in search of his Christmas vest. In this story, you will follow along as Isaac's dad recalls the first time he saw this vest and the meaning behind why he wears it every single year. This story lasts 12 minutes and 54 seconds. 
  • Gladys Remembers Christmas - Gladys was not a fan of Christmas. In fact, she hated it. All that begins to change when her father sends her on a mission to bring him a box from their attic. This story lasts 22 minutes and 52 seconds.

We were also sent these two additional Christmas stories that are not included in the collection.
  • The Secret of the Snow Village - This story takes you right inside one of those little ceramic Christmas village sets and teaches you what Christmas is really all about. With the scene details given, you can just imagine yourself going inside one of those little villages. Follow along with Katherine as she finds out that "Christmas isn't about lights, decorations, gifts, carols, or even snow. It's about Him." This story lasts for 20 minutes and 53 seconds. 
  • It's Called Christmas - This story is a message from the future written directly to you! The problem in the future is Christmas has been totally removed. Follow along to find out why and how you can help to get it back. This story lasts 27 minutes and 34 seconds.

Children will learn about serving others, sharing Jesus with others, not judging others, and so much more. These are great conversation starters for families who want their children to know that Christmas is all about Jesus. Each story is less than 30 minutes so they can easily be woven into your schedule if you wanted to make them apart of your school day too. We will definitely be adding this collection to our family Christmas traditions!

Find out more by visiting The Familyman on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and their blog.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

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Review of Educeri Lesson Subscription Service | #educeri

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews
Educeri ....... Educeri a division of DataWORKS has over 1000 Ready to Teach Lessons available with their Educeri Lesson Subscription Service. With a subscription service like this, you can easily supplement any curriculum. There are a variety of subjects available in grades Kindergarten through High School. 

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews

The beauty of an online subscription service is the availability. You have access to the lessons 24 hours a day so you can prepare any time you wish. These lessons are designed to help teachers teach a variety of topics in subjects such as Math, Science, Language Arts, Writing, History, and more. The majority of the lessons at this time are in the Math and Language Arts sections.

The website is very easy to navigate. You can search by subject or grade simply by clicking the corresponding tabs.

We mainly used the 8th grade Language Arts lessons in our homeschool as that is one of the areas where I find we always need extra practice. The 8th grade Language Arts section had 43 lessons to choose from. I split the lessons up so that we covered 1 lesson per week and I just picked out the ones I thought we needed the extra help with. 

Once you decide on the lesson you wish to teach, you click on that lesson and you are taken to the lesson screen.

In the "Additional Resources" section is where you will find PDF printable pages for your student so the first step is to print those off.  

The next step is to click on the blue button that says "Teach Lesson". You are then taken to a virtual whiteboard where the lessons are completely laid out for you including what to say! There are also little side notes to guide the teacher in making sure the student understands the words being taught in the topic - these are labeled as vocabulary. Included as well are checking for understanding questions (CFU) to ask the student to help them pull from memory what they already know.

The answers to the questions are also given one at a time so you can discuss them with your students. Here is a slide where the answers are given to the first question. As you continue through the slides, the remaining answers are given.  There are even slides that show the student worksheets and answers so you can discuss their independent work as well.  It is pretty neat that you can do this like a virtual whiteboard so no need to even leave your seat.   

You can quickly navigate between slides using the menu button as shown in this slide.  That is a great feature if you wanted to only teach specific concepts.  

I think this program works better having the teacher involved with the lessons. I guess older students could go through the slides themselves but it was designed so teachers could help students with the concepts. As the teacher, you may want to preview the lessons ahead of time too although I had no problems diving in on the day we went through them.
Another great feature is you can use this service with multiple children making it very cost efficient.

The Educeri Lesson Subscription Service can be purchased monthly for $7 or annually for $75. You can also sign up for a 30 day free trial (no credit card necessary) to see if this service would benefit your homeschool.

You can find out more by visiting Educeri on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service
Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Homeschool Highlights | Week 8

Week 7 came in with a bang - literally. Our town and surrounding areas suffered some major flooding from Hurricane Matthew. We did really well during the hurricane but the day after as Jonathan was on his lunch break, this happened.

No one was hurt so we are feeling extremely thankful and blessed.  To top off our blessings, less than a week later he found a car in his budget and is back in business.   God is good...ALL the time!  

We drove by there yesterday and walked up to see how it currently looks and this is what we found.  It's probably going to be a while before this road opens back up.

Ironically, I took this picture as he was passing by the day before as the rains were already starting to worsen.  I was a happy mama to see him heading home.  

This funny was passed around social media outlets for a few days.  Although the flooding was nothing to laugh at, this brought some fun to our day.  

In our homeschool, Sarah and Stephen are still plugging along and finished Week 8 so we're almost 1/4 done already!  As I've mentioned before, this is my 3rd time going through Apologia's General Science and I finding it to be quite boring at this point.  Sarah was struggling with the reading so I decided to add in a little outside help from The Virtual Homeschool Group.  Seeing the visual slides and reading the information in the book together seems to be helping her.  This week she was learning about levers and pulleys.  This is a free resource so be sure to check it out if you haven't already.  

The country were are currently working on is Canada and that is also the country Sarah chose for the Geography Fair coming soon in November.  Stephen chose Chile.

We've been enjoying our freezer meals still and I need to work in a day to make a new batch since it worked out so well for us this month.  

Our read aloud is Cameron Townsend.  We are a little behind schedule on this book and I think I'm just going to create a new schedule instead of trying to catch up at this point.  Sarah is reading These Happy Golden Years, and Stephen is reading about his favorite historical figure, George Washington.  

We've been slacking on our weekly review time too!  I must get my act together and make that a priority for the upcoming weeks.  I am about to tackle this pile after posting this.  

Currently, we are loving this game, Commissioned.  It has a temporary spot on our dining room table at the moment because every spare moment we get we gather around to play!  Stay tuned for a review coming soon.  

Here is how the "done" book pile is currently looking.  

If you think you would like to be a part of the Homeschool Review Crew, applications for the 2017 school year are currently being accepted.  It is such a blessing to our family to be able to try new curriculum.  You can read more about applying here.  

I'm linking up to a brand new linky this week started by a fellow crewmate, Homeschool Highlights.  Click the button to link up for yourself and to find out more!

Homeschool Coffee Break

Also linking up with Weekly Wrap-Up.