26 November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day 
with your family!

25 November 2015

From My Bookshelf...

So ... I know that I've  really fallen off the blogging world lately.  I hate that because I miss being here.  But life has been happening at break-neck speed lately and I've just been hanging on!  It happens like that sometimes, ya know.  

But I'm popping in to say "hi" today and share about some books I've read recently.     

Some of you may remember that I posted my personal summer reading list.  You know ...way back in the summer.  I did pretty good with that.  Summer is my favorite reading time.  I got in 8 out of 13 on my list.  Still knocking a few out.  Some I've just decided to postpone until ...maybe next summer;)

There are a couple of books I'd like to share with you today. You may have already heard of them.  You might have actually read them.  If not though, you just might want to check these out.  


The first one that I wanted to tell you guys about, that was like a nice, cool drink of water on a hot day, was Soul Friends by Dr. Leslie Parrott.  

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  The chapters were short, so insightful, and very inspiring, leaving me with new thoughts to ponder.  

Leslie divides her book into four sections: quest, calling, crisis, and communion.  Each quadrant progresses into the next--sort of stages in our lives, if you will.  In each section's chapters Leslie shares snapshots of her and her family's lives and snapshots of people who have directly--or indirectly--impacted her life.  

I absolutely loved these!  Each one brought insight, challenges, questions, and, sometimes, soul-searching.  Which is exactly what they are designed to do.  And at the end of each one there are 'soul souvenirs' where Leslie asks her readers a couple of questions.  Questions that are well-thought out and created to help you meditate on the biblical principles and nuggets tucked into each passage.  

Like I said: a cool drink of water on a hot day.  Very good stuff.  This is not a deep, theological Bible study, even though there are a lot of deep, theological thoughts tucked in here.  It is a great book to read a chapter in each day during your personal quiet time, however.  That is what I did through this past summer and it was perfect.  


More recently I've had the opportunity to read For the Love by Jen Hatmaker.  Whew.  What breath of fresh air!  

I had an international trip scheduled the last week of October so I had saved this book for reading on my flights.  I'm pretty sure I nearly made a scene a few times I was laughing so hard.  I was travelling with my sister and she just kept looking at me all like "what in the world is wrong with you?!".  

Jen is just so funny.  I mean she is seriously gifted with humor.  

Don't get me wrong.  This book deals with some serious and even heavy topics.  But she just seasons it with such grace and humor that it helps the big pill of hard truth go down a tad easier.  

Plus she has several sections that spin-off of Jimmy Fallon's 'Thank You' notes.  Enough said on that ...I'm already laughing again.  

Jen also has four parts to her book:
  • Your Very Own Self 
  • All These People Who Live in Your House
  • Friends, Neighbors, Strangers, and Enemies
  • Church, Church People, Not-Church People, and God
I think all of those speak clearly as to what they are about.  

This was my first time to read one of Jen's books.  I've some of her blog posts and about her before but I really enjoyed finally sitting down with one of her books and getting a glimpse of her heart.  She really, truly loves Jesus and it shows.  


So there you have it: a couple of great book recommendations for you to add to your own reading list!  You won't regret it!

Disclaimer: Both of these books were provided to me free of charge from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.  No other compensation was given and all thoughts expressed here are my own.  

11 November 2015

The CEB Student Bible {a review}

I have to say, I was excited when I was recently given the chance to review a copy of The CEB Student Bible.  My husband and I had been discussing getting a new Bible for our daughter.  She is twelve now and in 7th grade.  Her current Bible was given to her when she first was learning to read in kindergarten and she was really ready for a Bible with more study helps geared toward her age.  Because we had liked the CEB Deep Blue Bible that we got for our son we felt that this one was definitely worth exploring.  

This student Bible is written in the Common English translation, which is great for younger readers as it makes the text easier to understand.  It's target audience is ages 13 and up.  It includes prayers and notes written by students, for students.  Various ministers and Bible scholars have also contributed more than 400 articles, discussion questions, and activities designed to engage students with the Scriptures.  All good concepts.

However, after reading through some of the notes and commentary throughout this Bible I don't believe it's the version for our family.  We are a conservative Christian family.  And while we are not a "King James Version Only" kind of family--there are some other great translations out there with easier-to-understand and even sometimes better-translated English--we do not believe it is right to add to the Scriptures in any way, or to take away from them and I feel that this translation does take some liberties in that area that I am not comfortable with.  

Many of the notes throughout this Bible are very good and encourage good lines of thought for students.  However, some do not.  They promote a more liberal theology that is currently very popular in our culture--one that my husband and feel do not feel is Biblical nor correct.  So this is not a Bible we will continue to use in our home.  

Of course, I am not telling you if you should or should not purchase this version, but I would caution you to explore it carefully before making such an important purchase--as you should do with any version of the Bible you choose to buy.  

Disclosure: I was given a copy of The CEB Student Bible by Sidedoor Communications for the purpose of reviewing it.  I did not receive any other compensation and the thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.  

28 September 2015

What's For Dinner {Sept 28th}

Happy Monday, y'all!

You know what that means for me ....menu planning for the week!

And, yes, even though I've been terribly lax in posting my meal plans lately, I have actually still been making them.  My weeks just go so much better when I have a plan:)

And since we've started school again I've come to the conclusion that I must use my slow cooker on Tuesdays (piano lesson day) and Fridays (co-op day) right now ...or my family will forever be doomed to some horrible fast food on those evenings.  I'm just usually too tired/busy/all of the above to make my plan happen on those nights if I wait too long.

So... slow cooker to the rescue!

Here's what's on the plan for our dinners this week:

Monday: (a sort of clean-out-the-fridge-of-leftovers night) pinto beans, corn, green beans w/new potatoes ...and if that doesn't look like it'll be enough ...sauerkraut and wieners.

Tuesday: (slow cooker) honey-garlic chicken sandwiches w/fried potatoes

Wednesday: homemade pizza

Thursday: chicken & dumplings

Friday: (slow cooker) baked beans w/sausage rolls

Saturday: sloppy joes

19 August 2015

Our {home}school Curriculum Plans for '15-'16 {5th & 7th grades}

I love this time of year!  Having our curriculum plan for the coming school year ...and reading about others' plans is always exciting to me.  I've gotten some great educational leads by checking out what others are using.  Today I'm sharing our choices for the '15/'16 school year.

For The Princess...

...who is now....gasp!...a 7th grader!  That means we've been truly homeschooling now for at least 8 years.  Wow.  That sounds like I'm a veteran, but really I learn new things every year.  And now that we're moving into secondary education I've got a lot more to learn about.

Bible Study & Christian Character:
~The Pilgrim's Progress curriculum
~Our 24 Family Ways
~Child Training Bible

~Teaching Textbooks 7 (primary)
~Life of Fred (supplemental)
~Khan Academy (supplemental)

Language Arts:
~Learning Language Arts Through Literature Green (grammar)
~SchoolhouseTeachers.com (spelling/vocabulary)
~Total Language Plus focus guides (literature/vocabulary)
~Getty-Dubay Italics (handwriting)
~Various weekly writing assignments

Foreign Language:
~SchoolhouseTeachers.com (Spanish)
~Mango (Spanish)

History & Geography:
~{finishing}Story of the World 4
~Kentucky state history
~World geography (beginning with Africa)
~Current Events using WORLD magazine and CNN Student News

~Christian Kids Explore Chemistry
~Biology labs with our co-op

Health & PE:
~SchoolhouseTeachers.com (Health 101)
~PE class with our co-op
~Various activities with our family

~Piano lessons (from a local teacher)
~Guitar lessons (with SchoolhouseTeachers.com and local tutor)

~Various artist studies using multiple resources (books, art flash cards, online lessons, etc)

Clubs, Etc:
~Book Club (with local homeschool friends)
~Yearbook Club (with our local homeschool group)

Whew...that looks like a lot to me!  But I know that not everything will be done every day.  And that there will actually even be more that isn't listed here but that adds to her education.

Now for Mr. B!  He's going into 5th grade this year.

Unbelievable!  Seems like he should still be so little.  So proud of how he is progressing!

Bible Study & Christian Character:
~The Pilgrim's Progress curriculum
~Our 24 Family Ways
~Child Training Bible
~Grapevine Studies (Old Testament)

~Teaching Textbooks 5 (primary)
~Life of Fred (supplemental)
~Khan Academy (supplemental)

Language Arts:
~Easy Grammar 5 (grammar)
~Total Language Plus (literature/vocabulary/spelling)
~Getty-Dubay Italics (handwriting)
~Various writing exercises

Foreign Language:
~SchoolhouseTeachers.com (Spanish)
~Mango (Spanish)

History & Geography:
~{finishing} Story of the World 4
~Kentucky state history
~Galloping the Globe (geography)
~Current Events using WORLD magazine and CNN Student News

~Apologia Zoology III--Land Animals
~Entomology with our co-op

~Class with our co-op
~Various activities with our family

~Piano lessons (from a local teacher)

~Various artist studies using multiple resources (books, art flash cards, online lessons, etc)

Clubs, Etc: 
~Lego Club (Currclick.com)

And, of course, there will be more things not listed here that are a part of his total education this year, but basically that's our game plan.  I'm so glad to have it all down in writing!

Now to get busy with lesson plans before our start date of September 8th!

How about you?  If you are a homeschooler, do you have your plan ready to go?  Have you started school yet?  If you're a public schooler, have your children started back yet?  

17 August 2015

Back to Routine: What's for Dinner {Aug 17th}

I don't know about you but this time of the year I always begin to long for the routine that fall brings.  I thoroughly enjoy summertime and the fun, spontaneity, and flexibility that it brings.  But the planner in me loves the routine of fall: regular meal plans, morning routines, bedtime routines ...my children--especially my son--really do much better with routine.

While I have kept up menu planning through much of the summer, I haven't been posting it here and often I fail to do it if I'm not posting it.  So in the spirit of 'back to routine', I'm back to posting 'what's for dinner'.

Here's what we're having this week:

Monday:  Cheesy Stuffed Shells (from the freezer) with Salad and Bread

Tuesday:  Beans (in the crockpot) and Buttermilk Cornbread

Wednesday:  Grilled Hot Dogs, Creamed Corn, Baked Beans

Thursday:  Stuffed Peppers (maybe these)

Friday: yet-to-be-decided

Saturday: Snacks & Leftovers (a bit of a fridge clean-out!)

Ah ....now I feel better knowing the plan! ;)

23 July 2015

A Mid-Summer "hello!"

Is your summer flying by as quickly as ours is?!  I am kind of sad that it's already almost the end of July.  It has been such a busy summer for us that there hasn't been much relaxing getting done.

However, this week has slowed down for us quite a bit {thank goodness!!} and the schedule doesn't look too terribly bad through the end of August.  I think that we even have a real vacation in there somewhere!

Anyway, I thought I'd post a little update on what we've been up to this summer so far.


My personal reading list for this summer is clicking right along.  So far I've read:

  • Just RISE UP! by Sarah Francis Martin  {motivating and inspiring}
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel  {captivating story, twist in end really got me}
  • Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie  {loved ...as I love all of her books}
  • Crooked House by Agatha Christie
  • Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie
  • Miss Marple, the Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak  {good story, interesting narrative}
  • Soul Friends by Dr. Leslie Parrot  {very refreshing ...review coming soon}
Right now I am currently reading Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto--excellent read so far!  And I am deviating from my original summer list and reading the second Anne book: Anne of Avonlea.   

The kiddos are doing well with their summer reading challenge although their momentum has died down a bit.   So far Mr. B has earned a total of $13.55 for his total pages read, plus numerous coupons and even a golden ticket.  The Princess has earned $31.61, plus quite a few coupons and several golden tickets.  And they're both still reading away!  Very proud of them!  At the end of the summer I'll try to remember to post all of the books they've read.  

at the Creation Museum


In June we took an overnight trip to visit the Discovery Park of America.  That was totally worth the trip~a great place to visit!  Later in June we took a church youth trip to the Cincinnati area and spent a day at the Creation Museum and a day at Kings Island.  We had a great time!  We don't have any other trips planned until next month.      

at Kings Island

Family Fun:

At the beginning of the summer we made our annual 'Summer Fun List' with all of the things we think would be fun to do this summer--although we know we probably won't be able to do them all.  

So far we have:
  • gone to see 'Inside Out' at the drive-in theater
  • gone to several ballgames to see the regional collegiate league play
  • gone geocaching (SO much fun!)
  • had a sleepover or two
  • had a blast at family VBS at our church
  • 'Camp Nana'--where the kiddos spent a couple of days straight with my mom and did lots of fun stuff, like science kit experiments

And that's what we've been up to lately.  

What about you?  I'd love to hear how your summer is going!