Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Homeschoool Crew Review: Barbour Publishing

Barbour Publishing

I love to read and am always on the lookout for great books to read aloud to my children.  Our latest review opportunity came from Barbour Publishing.  They sent us one of their newest releases, Imagine...The Great Flood by Matt Koceich.


IMAGINE... The Great Flood

Imagine...The Great Flood is a 112 page paperback book written for children in the 8-12 year old age range.  It is the first in a series of books that brings Biblical history to life for young readers. 10 year old Corey follows his dog into the woods and falls and hits his head.  The next thing he knows he wakes up and is face to face with two lions. Somehow he has been transported back in time to when Noah and his sons are preparing to board the ark.  During his time in the past Corey meets Noah and his sons, the many animals that board the ark, sees the first rain, and battles the giant Nephilim and the evil Elizar. Throughout it all he has to learn to trust God with every part of his life.

I read a chapter of Imagine...The Great Flood aloud each night to my 6,8, 10, and 12 year olds.  They were interested in the story as soon as we started reading and often asked for one more chapter.  I love the idea of bringing Bible stories to life for young readers and teaching them important messages.  The story is a historical fiction, so it is based on a historical event but has quite a few embellishments to give some added drama and conflict to the story.  The major conflict is between Elizar and the Nephilim trying to stop Noah and his family and Corey from getting the animals and loading them in to the boat.  Throughout the book there are reminders to trust God in ways that children can relate to and understand.

One thing my children wished was different was how Corey gets taken back to the present.  We know that somehow a head injury in the woods takes him from the present to the past.  Then in the past he is swimming towards the ark when a Nephilim grabs him and pulls him under water.  A blurry figure pulls him up and he hears a voice that sounds like his mother calling him.  Then we are three months later in the present then when we started.  Corey and his family have moved and he is at a birthday party for a friend. We found that a little strange. We expected him to wake up in the woods with his mother finding him.

We enjoyed the book and look forward to reading others in the series.  The next book is called Imagine...The Ten Plagues and it will release in March 2018.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 4

We were back to school this week after a week off for the fair.  We also added in some language arts, poetry, and started our new science curriculum.  I have been reading aloud to the children in the evening before bed all summer long but want to start at least one read aloud during the day.  The book I wanted to start with though, Walk the World's Rim, is out of print.  I read it aloud years ago to Chelsea when she studied American history in elementary school. I may try to order it used from Amazon if my library doesn't have it.

Week 4 in our Homeschool:

P.E.: The weather was beautiful this week.  We spent three mornings at the park.  Two days the children skated or rode scooters while I walked then played on the playground.  By the way I learned I should check my first aid kit to make sure I have bandaids before allowing scooters in the park.  No major injuries but my Emmie always needs a bandaid when she gets a scrape.  The third day we alternated jogging and walking around the mile loop.


Bible: We read Luke 6-7:17.

Poetry: We went over a few of the poems from last year each day and started working on The Duke of Plaza-Toro by W.S. Gilbert.

Geography: Our Let's Go Geography lesson was on Haiti this week. 

History: We completed chapter 4 in America's Story on the lost colony of Roanoke. Jamestown, and Pocahontas.

Science: We completed lessons 1 and 2 in Science in the Age of Reason on Edmund Halley.

Math:  I have been doing flashcards with Anthony and Christian every day.  We are working on multiplication 3 and 4's.  In Math Lessons for a Living Education they each completed 4 lessons.

Language Arts:  I started the second module of Reader's in Residence with Anthony and Christian.  For this module you choose your own historical fiction to read.  I chose Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes for both boys to read.  We will be working on reading this book and completing the activities over the next several weeks.

Reading/Spelling:  The boys completed step 13 in AAS Level 4.  Lily completed lessons 36 and 37 in AAR Level 3 and Emmie completed lessons 13 and 14 in AAR Level 1.


Alex 8th grade:  I'm not convinced that Monarch is the best curriculum choice for Alex.  Middle school ages are hard anyway/  I was hoping having everything scheduled out for him would help keep him accountable, but so far that has not worked too well.  Time management is a problem that hopefully will improve.  This week in language arts he worked on lessons on pronoun/antecedent agreement, using pronouns, and using the right prefixes.  He also had a spelling lesson on easily confused words.  He had a quiz in science, a test in science, and a lesson on metric measurement.  In history he had a quiz and a test and lessons on competition for colonial control and new France's southward expansion.  In math he had lessons on simplifying and translating expressions and equations, a quiz and a test.

Nick 10th grade:  Nicholas completed lesson 4 in MUS Algebra II.  In Total Health he completed chapter 4.  In Apologia Marine Biology he started Module 2.  In Notgrass Exploring World History he completed lessons 10, 11, and 12. 

Other Activities this Week:

Monday Lily and Alex had music lessons.



Tuesday Lily and Emmie had gymnastics, Alex and Christian had soccer, and Nick had youth.


Wednesday was the first day of Kid's Club and Jr. High Youth.

Thursday Alex and Christian had soccer.

Friday we attended a picnic at a friend's house.


Liam was trying to help hold his bottle the other day. 

I have been doing a terrible job feeding my family.  They haven't gone hungry, but we have  been eating way too much takeout (expensive!)  over the last couple of weeks.  So when I made my grocery list for Friday I planned 5 freezer meals that I would make 2 of each meal for a total of 10 meals.  I used MyFreezEasy (aff link) and created my own meal plan. As soon as we got home from shopping Friday, I threw together the meals.  It took me a little over an hour and a half.  Hopefully this will help me not buy takeout!  I made beef stew, Dr. Pepper pulled pork, beef taquitos, triple cheddar mac n cheese, and BBQ chicken sandwiches.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Review: Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall









Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall is the third and final book in the Amish of Summer Grove series.  To completely understand the story, you really need to read the entire series from beginning to end.  The series is about 2 young ladies, Ariana Brenneman (Amish) and Skylar Nash (English) and their families.  Skylar and Ariana were born on the same night in an Amish birthing center when there was a fire.  Many years later a secret is discovered that alters both girls' lives forever.

In Gathering the Threads, Ariana is thrilled to be returned to her Old Order Amish home, but she struggles with reconciling what she has learned while in the English world with everything she has been taught since she was a little girl.  She struggles with finding her place in the world.

While Ariana was gone, Skylar made a place for herself in the Brenneman family but that place is disturbed when Ariana returns home.  Skylar has to find a place for herself and make peace with her family.

Both girls must " discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart."

I have waited a long time for this final book to be released.  That's the one problem with reading the books as soon as they come out.  The authors do not write as fast as I can read and sometimes you just have to be patient!  I loved the other two books and was eager to see how the author was going to resolve all of the situations that were going on in the book.  I like Cindy Woodsmall's stories because she writes about things that not found in your typical Amish book.

I loved the book and the way everything ended up.  It was predictable in some ways but many times romance stories can be.  Some parts of the story did not flow very well for me because some of the chapters would end with something going on with Ariana and the next chapter would shift to Skylar (or the other way around) and you are not sure what happened in between but later on in the chapter it would be explained.  I loved the different relationship aspects to the story and the theme that it is not blood that makes you family or decides your identity. Gathering the Threads was a great story, a wonderful ending to the series and I would recommend to anyone that enjoys Amish fiction.  I am giving this book 5 stars on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Carole P. Roman

Carole P Roman Blog

We first had an opportunity to review books by Carole P. Roman back in 2013 when we reviewed four of her If You Were Me and Lived in... Cultural series (you can read my review here.)  We loved the books and were excited to have an opportunity to review:



Carole P Roman

Carole P. Roman is the author of more then 50 children's books.  She writes books that appeal to both boys and girls in a variety of ages.  Some of her series include: If You Were Me and Lived in...Cultural Series, If You Were Me and Lived in...Historical Series, Captain No Beard, Nursery Series,and Oh Susannah.


The If You Were Me and Lived in...Historical series allows children to travel through time and visit different places in history. 

Books by Carole P Roman
If You Were Me and Lived in... Colonial America  is an illustrated paperback book with 65 pages.  In this book children will learn what their name might have been, why many people chose to leave England to come to the New World, and what it was like when they first arrived.  They will read about what type of housing they built, what types of food they ate, and what type of clothing they wore.  They will also learn about the Native Americans and the first Thanksgiving.  They will also discover what types of jobs children had, what type of schooling they did,  and what kind of toys they played with.  In the back of the book there is a list of people such as Ann Hutchinson, Pocahontas, and Myles Standish that influenced the colonies.  There is also a glossary showing pronunciation of words and definitions.


Books by Carole P Roman
If You Were Me and Lived in... the American West is a 56 page paperback illustrated book.  In this book children were learn about why some people chose to move out west, what types of things they packed in their wagons, and how they traveled.  They will also learn what type of clothing they had, what types of jobs they did on the way, and what types of food they ate.  They will read about the different conditions they traveled through(including crossing the Columbia River), illnesses they faced, and the Native Americans they met.  Students will discover what type of housing they built when they arrived, they different jobs they had to do there, the type of schooling, and the town that was built up.  In the back there is a list of famous people from the west including: Annie Oakley, Daniel Boone, and Wyatt Earp.  Last there is a glossary of words including pronunciation and definitions.


Books by Carole P Roman
Oh Susannah Things that Go Bump is a 62 page paperback book and is the second book in the Oh Susannah series.  This series is made up of short chapters for young readers.  In this book, Susannah is worried because her best friend Lola wants her to sleep over but she lives in a house that Susannah thinks is spooky.  Also Lola's brother keeps teasing Susannah with scary stories. 
Books by Carole P Roman

Rocket- Bye is a short, 30 page, illustrated bedtime story for young children.  Each page has one line of rhyming text  and an illustration.  The story is about 2 children taking a trip through outer space.

We got to choose two books from Carole P. Roman and the other two were sent as a bonus surprise.  I chose the two If You Were Me and Lived in...Historical series because we are studying American history this year.  I read the books aloud to my 6,8, 10, and 12 year olds.  We split up the reading into two days.

We loved both of these books.  The style of writing allows the children to put themselves in the shoes of children that lived during that time period.  The story teaches about important aspects of the time period in a way that applies to the children.  They would be a great addition to any history curriculum.

I read aloud Oh Susannah: Things that Go Bump to my 6 and 8 year old girls.  We do not do sleepovers in our house, but everybody has been to a place that seems scary to them.  The girls both enjoyed the story and after I read it aloud my 8 year old decided to read it again on her own.

I also read the Rocket Bye story to them.  It is geared for much younger children but they did not mind listening to it. The illustrations are really cute. It is a sweet bedtime story that the girls will be able to read to their new nephew.

Members of The Crew reviewed a wide variety of books by Carole P. Roman.  Stop by the Crew Blog to see what they had to say!


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Our Week in Review (2017 County Fair )

This week was the county fair. We have had a busy week!  We did not even attempt to do any kind of school this week.  I even had Nick excused from his class at public school this week to volunteer at the fair.  The fair is a lot of work.  The children do a Lot of work on their projects (animal projects and non animal projects) getting ready for the fair.  Parent and 4 H leaders do a lot of work helping their children with their projects and getting everyone everywhere they need to go.  Volunteers and those that work in Extension do a lot of work checking things in to the fair, judging, working in the kitchen, helping with livestock shows, and a number of other things that go on at the fair.


Monday morning we headed up to the fair and took our chickens and rabbits.  We also put up our club's fair booth and Nick and Alex helped put up the Teen Leader's fair booth.






Lily and Alex were supposed to have music lessons Monday afternoon but the teacher was under the weather and they were cancelled.

Tuesday morning we took our goats and the children's exhibits.  Market goats have to be at least 45 pounds.  When we put Alex's goat on the scale, it only read 44 pounds!  But then the goat shifted her weight so all of her feet were completely flat and the scale went up to 45.  Whew!  It took me a little over an hour to enter all of the children's exhibits.  I let them enter 5 things not counting livestock or baked goods.  Our fair is wonderful.  If something doesn't fit in to a typical category there is an other category that you can put it in.  They add categories every year based on things that have been entered.  So a few years ago when the boys started entering LEGO sets there was no category to put them in.  They added one the next year.  They also added a robotics category.  We were taking care of things at the fair until lunchtime, then we picked up Liam so we could babysit while Chelsea went to school and headed home for a few hours.

Tuesday evening Nick had youth.  We dropped him off and went back to the fair to wash and feed goats and feed chickens.  We also had an opportunity to watch the lamb and sheep show before we had to pick Nick up.

Wednesday was a long fair day.  We were there for about 10 hours. Wednesday morning we entered a few baked goods and fed the animals.  There were 9 different classes from a local school coming through the fair that day.  They set up several stations for the children to visit so they could learn about what is being shown at that station.  Alex and Christian were in charge of the chicken station.  Nick was helping with the rabbit station. They all did a great job!






We also stopped by the Grandview station so they could hold the alligator.




Judging is also done on Wednesday.  We wanted to stay and watch the chicken and rabbit judging but they were running late and the girls were starving.  We left for a couple of hours, grabbed some pizza and went to church so I could work on Kid's Club stuff.  By the time we got back everything had already been judged (except the goats) and we got to go investigate ribbons.

Emmie entered chickens and got 2nd place.  She also entered a rabbit who got third place.  Her little red riding hood doll set and sand art won 1st, butterfly painting , picture frame, and  piggy bank all won 2nd.





Lily entered chickens and they won 1st.  Her rabbit won 3rd.  She baked chocolate chip cookies that won 2nd.  Her other entries were: Little Red Riding Hood Set, sand art, and butterfly painting 1st place, Handmade doll , puzzle, piggy bank, and turtle painting,  2nd place.




Christian baked banana chocolate chip muffins and won 1st place.  His LEGO Millenium Falcon won Best of Show (he was very proud of that!) His LEGO truck, piggy bank, bridge, and sand art won 2nd.




Anthony entered chickens that won 2nd.  He also entered a variety of Tinker Crate projects.  His wooden crane, 3d view finder, planetarium, constellation all won 1st.  He also had a LEGO set that won 1st.







Alex entered a bracelet that won 1st.  He also entered a model car, LEGO truck, deer puzzle, and piggy bank that all won 2nd.



Nick had a rabbit that won 3rd (lots of rabbit competition this year!)  He baked brownies that won 1st.  He also entered a LEGO set and puzzle that won first.  Another puzzle and tin can robot won 2nd.




The Nature Seekers Fair Booth won 1st.



Christian and Alex practiced in the show ring and touched up the goats to get them ready to show.  We grabbed some quick supper and then it was time for them to get changed and ready.

They showed their goats three times.  First was for showmanship.  The second time was in the market class and the third time was for commercial does.  The boys and the goats did a great job for their first time showing.  They both earned 2nd place ribbons in their classes for market and commercial.




Thursday and Friday we just had to feed and water animals twice a day. Thursday we also had to run the dog to the vet.  She has been limping and we don't know why.  Nothing is broken but she is on an anti-inflammatory medicine for the next ten days.  Christian and Alex also had soccer practice on Thursday night.

Saturday was the Premium Auction.  In the auction you do not actually sell the animal.  You do take them into the ring and they auction it, but you keep the animal.  It is just a way for the local businesses to donate money to the livestock kids and help them be able to work on their projects.  It is not cheap to raise livestock!  And the bigger the animal the more it costs especially when you are getting started.  Any little bit of money helps, and I so appreciate that they do this for the kids.  This year was the first year rabbits were allowed in the auction.  Originally they said only grand and reserve champion rabbits would participate so I did not have Nick dress to show.  When we got there he was on the sale list.  They decided they would also allow kids whose only livestock project was rabbits so he showed in shorts and a t-shirt, but oh well.  They also auctioned all the 4 H kids to add some money to the 4 H scholarship fund.








After the sale we ate lunch and went by the car show.




We were almost home when we found out they released livestock early.  We grabbed our stuff and went back to clean up and pick up our animals.


Sunday church had a spaghetti lunch fundraiser for the youth.  We stayed to eat and clean up and then went back to the fair to pick up all of our exhibits and clean up the booths.  The fair is over!  The goats and possibly a rabbit will go to the state fair in October.  We need to put 5 pounds on Alex's goat in 4 weeks and also need to exercise them more so they gain more muscle.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!