2.15.2017

Meltdowns Are Like Having Knives Under My Nails



Part 3
If you haven't read part 1 and part 2 you can do that now.

You can always tell a shift in Kaden's mood....it's like a change in the wind.  And when it starts NOTHING can stop it, nothing.  I have retracted the words I said or request I asked.  I've promised all kinds of things to turn his attention elsewhere.  But, that's one of the differences between a Tantrum and a true Meltdown.  Here is an example: I'm making breakfast and it's a little bit of scrambled eggs a toast and sausages.  He doesn't want the eggs because they look weird today.  Ok, then you want just sausage and the toast? I say it cheerfully because any thing that is not perfect in his eyes can go south real fast.  And sure enough he has that look as he starts breathing deeply and louder.  He balls up his fist and starts hitting his leg as he starts looking around.  Watching you might say he looks embarrassed, overwhelmed, maybe even disoriented.  But, from what?  He doesn't want the eggs, I have said cheerfully that's ok....but we are about to be apart of an apocalyptic situation.  He stomps to the living room and on the way he bangs the wall with his head 3 times.  I have recently been trying to actively ignore him during a meltdown.  That means I don't say stop please or talk to him UNLESS he is about to do something that will cause bodily harm to himself or someone else.  And at that point sometimes we have to restrain him. 
This particular moment of head banging I was quiet, trying not to feed into it, but once he went into the living room he started to run towards the fireplace.  He rammed it with his head and then I stepped in with a warning that I understood he was upset, but that he needed to let out his frustration in a way that would not cause him more pain.  After 20 minutes of screaming, clawing his legs and arms with repeating phrases of it's not fair, why and I can't do this anymore he ran upstairs.  Punching the walls, tearing through his shelves, knocking everything over in his path.  But, I stay quiet...and a few feet away from him with Mahala a few feet away on the other side.  This is our daily life.....daily!  After almost another full 20 minutes it gets quiet, I walk into his bathroom to pretend to put something away.  It's my way of checking in without sparking him again.  Depending on what's going on I will engage him or back away longer.  This particular day I noticed he was under his lego building table, rubbing the carpet with the back of his hand.  No other movement or noisy, so I attempted to communicate with him.  We always go off topic, never about the situation.  Wow, Buddy I have noticed your sink is a lot cleaner today.  Is the toothpaste holder working better then the old one?  BOOM....he looks up at me and I see my sweet Kaden, he's back!  He starts rattling off the pros and cons of the new toothpaste holder.  What they should do to make the old one better, asking when he goes back to the Dentist and then mentioning other random things as he wiggles himself out from under the table.  It's done, it's over life can continue.  And we do...and later on we will come back to the meltdown and ask him how he felt and what we could all do to prevent it from happening again. 


This specific meltdown was not that bad, they can become so intense that I physically get hurt.  It's a scary place to be and we go there almost every day and if it happens once it will happen several times that day.  In the middle of the night, while we are out at a store.  All we can do is try to keep his world as predictable as possible. :)  Later that afternoon when I talked to him about this specific meltdown he said that it was overwhelming him.  What was overwhelming Kaden?  I couldn't eat the eggs they looked wet.  I had not seen them look like that before.  You had the option to not eat them though.  But, I can't eat just a toast and a sausage.  That's not a complete breakfast.  So, I asked him what could we do differently next time so we don't have to go through all of this meltdown stuff?  I don't know.  That's usually what he will say, so I'll ask if I can suggest something, he'll say yes and then I will give a few options and then ask him what he thinks about them.  We talk about it for a short time only because if he starts feeling like a "bad kid" he will become depressed and that will start the anger all over again.  It is important for him to feel like we have come to a resolution and that there is hope for a better outcome next time.

After we talk and think of new strategies I usually clean him up, neosporin and band-aids get used and I get him some water and then 9 times out of 10 he starts cleaning up his mess without me even having to tell him to.  And while he picks up he apologizes and then starts talking about other things like nothing every happened.  Because in his mind he is done and ready to go forward.  While Mahala and I are still processing everything that went on Kaden usually finds a corner and crashes.  He's exhausted and honestly so are we. 

2.14.2017

Faith In Every Footstep ~ REVIEW

My book shelf has been filling up fast this past month or so.  This next book I'm Reviewing for you was a huge surprise to me.  I was able to get my hot little hands on Faith In Every Footstep, written by Wesley Banks through Fly By Promotions.  It was a huge surprise because I couldn't get into the story....at first.  Chapter one just went over my head, chapter two was a little better, but it wasn't until chapter three that I felt like I was right there in the mix with this superstar rookie musher, Kyle Walker and his pack of dogs.  Not just any dogs, but a rare breed called the Carolina Grays that was discovered in the low lands of South Carolina.  They are all amazing dogs, but one is extra special and that's King, he's the leader in the pack.  This Kyle Walker and his pack were ready to race over 1,000 miles against other teams in one of mankind's toughest races....the 2003 Yukon Quest.  

Even though the writing style seemed a little off in the first few chapters to me once the story started rolling it was nonstop adventure and suspense. Of course I'm sure you can guess that while on this race there would be a few bumps along the way.  And believe me there were a few and without spoiling the story I will just say situations I didn't think would occur, like maybe a search and rescue along the way.  But it did and I was on the edge of my seat reading quickly to get through all of these adventures and decisions.

I appreciated that this sweet book of Fiction had a little bud of romance, but nothing off putting it was sweet.  The Author had a way of sharing the personality of the key characters.  You could feel the connections, especially with the dogs.  This part really touched my heart in a personal way.  My youngest Son has Autism and like Kyle has a little awkward way socially about him.  But, to his animals he is spiritually connected in a way that most people are not.  My Son has a service Dog and their relationship is so similar.  This one part in the book one of the Dogs, named Ria was shaking and the vet thought she was cold.  But, Kyle came real close and breathed along with her and repeated her name slowly along with the breaths and she relaxed.  He calmed her and this is what our service Dog does for my Son.  He will lay across him and calm him...it's beautiful and to see this in an unlikely book about a Sled Dog and a Musher was unbelievable, but welcoming.  Another part in the story that was really intense I could hardly catch my breath as I was reading.  Kyle was clapping his hands together and yelling Hike Hike!  He said even if the dogs can't hear him clapping they can sense it.

This book gave me many welcoming moments and I would recommend it to anyone who is a Dog Lover, someone who enjoys a Life Adventure, or looking for a descriptive Journey.  Any of those spike your interest then head on over now to Amazon and grab you a copy....you will be surprised and will love it too!  I'm ready for his next book in this Series.....can't wait! :)

2.10.2017

A Walk Down Autism Lane

Part 2
You can read Part 1 now if you haven't yet.

Imagine you wake up roll over and you see Kaden staring at you and in a loud mono-toned voice he tells you he has been waiting for 13 minutes for you to wake up and he needs ham for breakfast.  He hops off the bed grabs his tablets and he walks Homer downstairs to feed and let him out.  I'll lay there in bed a minute trying to focus my eyes and I hear him holler it's 16 now.  Meaning 16 minutes he has waited and this makes him crazy.  In his mind life is a huge scheduling board that must remain the same.  Everything is a list of commands to him, a path of directions that need to be followed.  And when there is a kink in his loop then there is a disturbance in the universe.  He feels icky inside and things that don't stand out to you and I are jumping out at him, loudly blaring, screaming and burning his skin, making his life unbearable.  All of that is going on inside him while I'm trying to get my butt out of bed without falling down the stairs.....I'm so not a morning person!!

2.08.2017

UNAUTHORIZED ~ REVIEW

UAboxtop 
Who doesn't Love a Game Night with Friends and Family?  It's one of my Favorite moments in my week for sure.  We always incorporate games into our daily homeschooling, but at least 2 or 3 times a week we like to gather everyone around the table to play or read.  Several months ago we were introduced to Chara Games and we love that they are Built by a Family for Families.  Not to mention that they all have a Christian Theme.  I've Reviewed two of their other games in the past that you can look up by using the Search Feature on my side bar.  But this one I'm sharing today was given to me as a Prototype.  You can go Right Now and help Jump Start production of UNAUTHORIZED during their Launch on KickStarter.  How exciting.....I know right!

We love board games, but card games are the best because they are so portable and fast to set up.  Once we sorted through all the cards and looked at all the different roles we could play we read through the directions.  And then read them again.... I'm so not a directions person.  And if you are like that too, don't worry Patrick and Katherine Lysaghts offers a great video option for us visual people. :)  We gathered around the table with snacks of course and I looked at them with crazy eyes and said..... So, I have 1 Question.....are you going to Build Up the Church....or Crush It Mercilessly?  Kaden looked at me like I was crazy.  You know he's our literal thinker, after a quick explaining of the game concept and the rules he was ready.  And let me tell you he is unbelievably good.  We were all on the edge of our seats the whole time.

Role Cards

UNAUTHORIZED is a 6-12 person game for ages 12+, it's a fast paced game and lasts roughly 30 minutes or so.  Like I said above you are going to either build up the Church or try and take it down.  And it's a secret throughout the game.  In the beginning you pick your role and try and influence others to join you on your mission.  And who has your loyalty, the Church or the State?  The game changer here is that it flip flops during the game because it all depends on the experience cards you draw.  We have played several times now and every single time the game has been different then expected and we are all laughing with anxious anticipation until the very end.  That's the Best way I can describe our reactions!! :)

 
Head over now to KickStarter and take a look at the UNAUTHORIZED Campaign Chara Games has going on right now.  Your Support will help get this Amazing Game out into stores so Everyone can gather around the table and share belly laughs with their Friends and Family!

2.07.2017

The Art of CursiveLogic ~ REVIEW





You know I am all over anything creative, fun and has anything to do with pretty pens!  Recently I was able to preview some Samples of an awesome creative outlet from CursiveLogic, The Art of CursiveLogic.  Sure you can use this for your kiddos, but this one my friends has Adults Included written all over it.  

Light after darkness...The Art of CursiveLogic sample pages I was sent were Beautiful, honestly my jaw DROPPED!  It was like Magic under my pen as the color filled the lines for some of the most enchanting pictures I've seen.   

Throughout and around these lovely pictures are words packed with inspiring Quotes..... filled with wisdom and delight, like my favorite "Sweet after Bitter and Hope after Fears."  Seriously you can complete these pictures, frame them and hang them up proudly anywhere in your home or office....they are that beautiful!

The sight of the stars...

We all know CursiveLogic is an amazing company that offers an intelligent shape-based approach way to learn cursive for the first time or perfect your craft from years of keyboard clicking.  The lessons in this book look to me to be similar to their CursiveLogic.  With easy concepts and short lessons this is a perfect addition to your homeschool.  Now go see what they have been working hard on over at KickStarter.  


Donate now to receive your very own once it is complete!  Share on Facebook and get a Coloring Sheet Sample today.

2.05.2017

Medication is now on the Agenda

part 1
Well, we did it....we put Kaden on Medication.  We have struggled for nearly 7 years trying to keep him safe and unmedicated.  But, enough is enough and there comes a point when you have to just try something out in left field even when it is something you really don't want to do.  It's for his own good....he needs to be safe and I have to do all that is in my power to make that possible.

Kaden has High Functioning Autism....he is so smart academically, emotionally he has some deficits that effect him socially and sensory wise.  I could be here all day explaining that to you.  So, over the next few days I'll share with you exactly what his meltdowns look like and why we struggle with his safety.

If you have any Questions or Comments we would Love to hear them! :)

2.04.2017

I'm Going To Give You A Bear Hug! ~ REVIEW

Do you have little kiddos or slightly older ones that you might want to cozy up to and enjoy a heartwarming moment with?  I can say yes to both of those and I had a special surprise come in the mail the other day to help me create a little walk down memory lane.  I have always read to my kiddos, it's been a special bonding we have all shared together.  But, as they get older they tend to read more on their own.  At least that's what happened with my oldest.  My middle child I have tried to hold onto it longer and Kaden is just stuck with me for life reading with him.  :)

The other day a new book to Review arrived called, I'm Going To Give You A Bear Hug! published by Zonderkidz.  I was given the opportunity through FlyBy Promotions and I was so excited to tear into it.  But, I waited for Kaden to get home just to see his reaction.  Background story for those of you who do not know he has Autism and doesn't freely give out hugs, affection or even pats on the back.  His first reaction was this is a kiddie book and rightly so it is geared for kiddos 4-8 and he reads at a high school level.  But, I asked him and his 16 year old sister to gather on the couch and let's read it together.  Grumblings aside he agreed and Mahala was already snuggled up on the couch with her throw blanket.


My first impression of this precious book is that it is so Beautifully Illustrated right off the bat with the sweetest book jacket.  The first and last few pages were covered in Bear paw prints.....and yes Kaden counted them all, at least he tried to.  I appreciate the quality of the thicker pages, less likely to tear with little hands turning them.  The Author, Caroline B. Cooney shares that this story was based off of a verse she had written a long time ago for her now grown children.

The story begins with a little boy running to his Mom saying,  
  "I'm going to give you a bear hug. 
A show you how much I care hug.  
A good night, 
Sleep tight, 
Way beyond compare hug."
So cute and the words just flow...I found we would end up reading out loud together.  It brought out a playful side of Kaden that I don't normally see freely, so it was magical.  We have read this book at least 30 times in the past few weeks.  We keep it downstairs beside the couch and I have found him just flipping through the pages reading to himself.  Another sweet excerpt from the book is, 
"I'm going to give you a horse hug.
A grab the mane,
Race through the rain,
Yes oh yes, of course hug."

And at the end of this sweet little boy's hugging adventures you see him getting all tucked in bed ready for sweet dreams.   These illustrations are warm and touching thanks to the mighty talented Illustrator, Tim Warnes.

 I Love this book, it would make a great addition to any family's library.  I'm thinking this would be a perfect baby shower or birthday gift.  This would work as a Valentine or would look great in an Easter basket.  Another sweet idea would be to have your kiddo give it to their Mom or Grandma for Mother's Day coming up.  And let's not forget Dad's and Grandpas need hugs on their Special day too. 

Be sure to check out what's going on with Social Media....
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“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

1.26.2017

New Rhythm To Life


Having a Kiddo with Autism has it's challenges to say the least.  Add in health issues that you struggle with daily and life can sometimes seem like a roller-coaster.  That's kind of where I've been at recently...just riding around, sometimes scared to death and then I turn a corner and I'm laughing myself silly.  It's our rhythm of life around here and I have accepted it.  No more fighting for perfect days, a spotless house and a filled calendar of fun outings.  
My priorities is to first get me some coffee and then more importantly is some Jesus.  The Family needs to be feed, both their bellies and their hearts before I even think about feeding their brains.  Then I focus on dinner and carving out time to nurture my marriage daily.  This is so important when you have kiddos, especially a kiddo on the spectrum.  It can take a toll on your marriage....on any relationship.



So, here is how today looked for us......
After being up all night with meltdowns and an episode of night terrors I got out of the bed at 10:30.  Yes, you read that correctly......Kaden was happily awake at 8am, later then his normal 7am and was ready to go like nothing had happened last night.....that is the song we sing over and over.  My Husband is amazing and got him settled downstairs while I slept.....my eyes were open all night until just before 5 this morning.  
I woke Mahala up, yes she was still sleeping because when Kaden doesn't sleep the whole house doesn't sleep.  And since she is the most amazing daughter she came downstairs and made sausage, eggs and bagels for the whole family while I nursed a cup of espresso drowned in cream.

 
After breakfast we read books and did some little chores around the house.  Mahala left with Skylar and Leslie to wash the dogs and run a few errands.  While they were gone Kaden and I baked bread from scratch, worked on decoding some scrambled Spelling Words and broke out a chalk set he hadn't opened yet from Christmas and he chalked the front porch like Van Gogh. 
 

Tonight I'm popping some ribs in the Insta pot, serving it with steamed broccoli from the Insta pot and our freshly baked bread.  After dinner we will probably watch a movie, read books up in bed followed by meditation and God willing lights out. 

I still call it a highly successful day!  Just go with the flow....breathe in breathe out.....

 

1.23.2017

Chara Games 3 Seeds: Reap Where You Sow ~ REVIEW



We have a New FAVORITE Game......I was super excited to Review another game from Chara Games that created another game I recently Reviewed called Commissioned.  We love playing games around here and strategy games are the best.  While we were enjoying game nights with Commissioned we didn't hesitate to open up 3 Seeds as soon as it came in. 

1.22.2017

Spring Rolls Anytime!!




I love Vietnamese Food!  When I first met my Hubby I didn't know the difference between it from any other Asian Cuisine.  Boy, am I a lucky girl..... to have many dinner choices in my recipe box!  
When I think of Vietnamese Food I think of Fresh, Simple Food.
One of my Favorite recipes that my Husband's Family enjoys is a perfect choice for the Summer time.  Yummy Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce.  But, I enjoy them in the Winter time with a nice bowl of broth soup.

All you need to have is some Rice Paper and Rice Vermicelli noodles.  Both can be found in Asian Markets and most Local Grocery Stores.


As for all the Goodies inside your rolls you need lot's of Fresh ingredients.... Dark Green lettuce, we use Romain, lots of Fresh sprigs of Mint and Cilantro.  Cilantro is my FAVORITE!!!!!  Also, you will need to slice some Cucumbers thinly and Carrots.  On this particular day I did not have carrots to use. :(  This Recipe does require a lot of Prep work, but in the end it will be worth all the chopping.

Now, as far as which protein to use, the sky is really the limit.  We almost always have Shrimp cut in half.  But, we pair it up with Roasted Chicken or Seared Beef.  This particular time we used Shrimp and Pork.  The main thing to REMEMBER is to slice it as thin as possible.  That way when you layer your ingredients on top of your Rice Paper it will stack nicely.
 


Okay, so here is what YOU do......First, take your round Rice Paper and dip it into a WARM bowl of water.  Carefully rotate it to make sure it is evenly wet.  Probably about 1 full minute in the water or bit less.  This is what takes it from a Hard Shrinky Dink Type Paper to a soft, wrap-able Circle.  :D  Lay it down on your plate, it may still be a tad hard, especially around the edges.  Then you place some Lettuce, Mint, Cilantro and Cucumbers in a straight line....kind of like your making a Burrito!  Then take a Pinch of noodles.  My Kiddos like a lot of Noodles!  I like more of the Veggies. 
Next, grab your Protein of choice.  I normally put 2 or 3 pieces of shrimp....which would equal 1-1 and 1/2 Shrimp and 2-3 slices of the other Protein.  Then I'm  all set to WRAP it Up!!  Fold the Short sides up and Tightly Roll, just like a Burrito.  Remember the Wrap is stretchy, so pull gently, but tight enough so that your Roll is not Sloppy!!


I Love to Dip mine in Peanut Sauce.  Which is made from Hoisen sauce, Peanut Butter, Soy Sauce and CoCo Ricco.  If you want the Full recipe you will need to look it up or email me.  I am bad about Measurements.  HAHAHAHA 

Enjoy Your Spring Rolls!!!!

1.13.2017

School Time Goes a Little Like This....


I noticed that I don't share as much as I thought I did about our Homeschooling.  Weird, totally because I feel like my whole life is Homeschooling.  So I thought I would share on a more regular basis what we are up to these days.  Mahala is nearing the end of her Homeschool stint, but Kaden has many more fun years ahead.  I'll tell you about Mahala today......

Mahala is all over the place right now.  Her schooling looks kind of like a Quilt with pieces from here and there and everywhere.  Each morning her and I honestly start out slow...we usually cook together, enjoy our coffee or hot cocoa while we catch up on social media or watch a show from whatever series we are addicted to.  We use this time to just be.....having a younger sibling with Autism is difficult and you need that down time.  Kaden usually plays Minecraft while we do this, so it's actually kind of quiet.  

Right now my Daughter-in-Love is working with her in Math 3-4 days a week.  Math was never easy for me, I always struggled.  I struggled to the point that even easy Math tripped me up because I was so nervous! :)  We are concentrating on all things English, Literature and History for the next few months.  Then in April, May, June and July we will turn to Sciences like Botany and Chemistry along with continuing Math, Reading and any electives.  Her Electives are editing on the computer, photography and Music.

At least once a week, we focus on the Arts...Music and Artistry in some form.  We also have started a day a week that we practice Self-Care.  She will be a Wife and Mother one day to her own Kiddos, Nieces, Nephews, her Church and Community....not to mention a Job either for Herself or an employer.  So, I want her to learn now how to take care of herself...not to put herself last on the list.  She needs to show herself compassion and rest.  I am taking this last year and a half to really help her build an arsenal for herself to replenish her soul every single day.  I learned this only recently....I want to give her the tools now to try and save her some of the hurdles I had to jump over.

We also Meditate and do deep breathing techniques daily and right now the weather is not so good for Mommas with Lupus like myself...so in the Winter time I stay inside more.  But, once the weather looks better we will bring school outside as much as possible.  
So, that's about what Her school looks like right now.  More details soon about Specifics. :)

1.10.2017

Not so Little RV Adventure~part1

So, it's been a few months since we have been home now from our RV trip.  Our cross country experience was amazing.....I was blown away with America!! 
While we traveled I journaled, took a ton of pictures and now I want to sit down and walk through it all with you.  I plan to share the Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Extremely Ugly!!  I tried to post while we were on the road, but unfortunately with spotty internet connection, family adventures and mishaps I just didn't get it all posted.  Now I can take the time and redeem myself with sharing our Not so Little RV Adventure!!!

The Day Before we are set to leave we spend ALL DAY loading the last bit of stuff into our 2017 Thor Windsport.  We are ready to call it a night so we can wake up first thing in the morning and head out.  So, we clear up the boxes, wrappers and trash and Hubby goes over and pushes the Slide Button to bring in our full wall unit Slide.  And guess what?  It wouldn't come in....we tried and tried, over and over and then we heard a huge POP!!!  

Nearly 2 hours into talking with a service rep and trying to safely get it in far enough so neighbors wouldn't crash into it we were exhausted.  It was a Friday night, so we had to sit and wait until Monday to see if we could bring the Windsport in.  That was the LONGEST weekend, we were all bummed, just deflated really.  First thing Monday morning we called and they said we could bring it in Tuesday.  But, he warned us that if parts were needed it could take up to 3 weeks to get them in and installed.  Honestly we didn't have that time...Hubby was off on his Sabbatical, we had no other choices.  He was off and this was cutting into our cross country time. :(

See what happens that following day Next!

1.08.2017

The Thirsty Reader

No matter where we are Kaden is sure to find a cozy spot and a book.  I remember back on our RV trip he would pick up pamphlets from every place we stopped.  He is a sponge just soaking up information from anywhere and everywhere.   That was one of the cool things about our trip, knowledge was lurking around every corner just waiting to be discovered.
He reads so fast...it's almost impossible to quench his thirst for reading.  Leslie asked me if he comprehended what he read.  She had taken him the other day to a Book store where he read 3 books while she leisurely browsed new titles and sipped coffee.  The answer is......Absolutely!  

I'm always amazed when we take turns reading out-loud.....he reads super fast, I have to remind him that I need to comprehend too. :)  And when it's my turn to read 99% of the time he is on his tablet playing a game.  I know that sounds a little weird that I actually let him play while I read, but he can almost repeat the last several lines I read word for word.  I find he is antsy if he isn't doing something while I'm reading.  Sometimes he builds models of bridges or buildings, plays with slime or clay, but in the evening you will usually find us curled in the bed or on the couch with a book and his tablet.
This year we are looking at signing up for the Kindle Unlimited.....have you tried it?  If so, what are your thoughts? 

1.05.2017

Zonderkidz The Beginner's Bible ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2017%20Homeschool%20Review%20Crew/01%20-%20January/04%20-%20ZonderKidz%20Beginners%20Bible/beginners-bible-memes4_zpsk3ia0tba.jpg 
Yay....it's time for the 1st Review of the year.  And what better way to celebrate the New Year then with an Updated Edition of the beloved children's Bible...The Beginner's Bible from Zonderkidz.  This cherished Children's Bible has been updated with cool 3D artwork in Honor of The Beginner's Bible 25th Anniversary!!!    I was so happy to be able to Review it because all three of my Kiddos have read the original.  When Skylar was just a few years old I bought him one and he enjoyed reading it for many years as did Mahala and now Kaden.  Having the newest edition ensures that future Grandkiddos will have the joy of reading it too.
As soon as Kaden opened the box and discovered what it was he was impressed.  It is so fresh and vibrantly colored, the characters leap up off the page.  It's 508 pages long and filled with over 90 Stories from the Bible.  I appreciate that the pages are sturdy and the cover is brilliant in color and design just like the original.  This Bible is geared for ages 4-8.  The youngest children with the bright art that pops out will grab their attention as you read to them and the older ones will stick around for the great stories.  With the many lessons and stories your Kiddos will be both entertain and educated with this delightful Bible.  I have found that it is wonderful to have by your kiddos bedside for bedtime reading, in the car for trips and even as a read aloud with the whole Family after dinner.
http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2017%20Homeschool%20Review%20Crew/01%20-%20January/04%20-%20ZonderKidz%20Beginners%20Bible/9780310750130_art_pg261_zpswfj2uw8q.jpg 
One of the great extras available to use along with The Beginner's Bible is all the online activities, games, trivia cards, placemats, coloring sheets, an App to download and much more.  Kaden's favorite was the online Jigsaw puzzles.  He also enjoyed the Jesus is Born and the Resurrection Video available online. 
Another one of the things I noticed in this New Edition is that the table of contents is visually easier to read and the stories are divided into New and Old Testament.  And the stories go in order and this was very pleasing to Kaden.....he likes "order".  Also, at the very back of the Bible is a few pages that feature a Dictionary.  A great start to build your little one's Biblical vocabulary.
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Even though Kaden has read through the older edition many times he still read it all, but really spent a lot of time doing the online activities.  I would highly recommend The Beginner's Bible as an introduction to the Bible for any young child.  You can never start reading to them too early, especially the Lord's Word.  I truly feel like it's a quality, sturdy story Bible that will open the doors to your little one's daily relationship in God's Word.  Gifting a young child with The Beginner's Bible is a precious thing that I'm so thankful we did many years ago with my own Kiddos.  I believe giving my Kids this gift made it easier for them to remember the important stories in the Bible and appealed to them because of the chosen artwork for each of the stories. 
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I encourage you to go online now and see for yourselfall that Zonderkidz has to offer.  See all the excitement over The Beginner's Bible on Social Media today.
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The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}

12.29.2016

Meditation is Apart of Our Self-Care

Meditation has been apart of my life for three years now.  It came in around the time that I was dealing with some pretty intense Family and Health issues.  I remember the first few times I struggled with letting go and relaxing.  It was so unnatural for me to clear my mind, focus on myself and being present.  It was like I had this fear of being still in my own skin, what will happen when all the walls are down and I'm at one with the here and now?  Well, I'll tell you....I found a calming peace and was able to let go of the tension I carried in my shoulders and base of my head.  I was able to focus on my breathing and clear my mind from anything that wasn't positive in my life.

Read More About How We Meditate Here....

12.20.2016

Our Slow Holiday Season


Usually for the whole month of December the kids and I push school work to the side.  But, this year because of our RV trip we "tried" to school this month.  I use the word "tried" very loosely.  :)  There is just too many things to do.  Literally I can count on one hand how many days we have left the house in the past 20 days.  Instead we have been cozy inside building, reading, crafting and cooking.  Almost daily we have something bubbling on the stove or crock-pot.  Fresh cookies or something sweet and salty is always being freshly made and let me not forget the countless Bible Journaling I have done.
This has been an amazing month all enjoyed under the glow of our twinkling Christmas tree.  This Season has been about slowing down, reconnecting and spending time doing what is truly important to us.  How have you spent this Holiday Season?

12.19.2016

When Jesus Was a Green-Eyed Brunette ~ REVIEW


I love a great book just about any time of the year, but during the cold winter months it's even better.  You get to grab a toasty beverage, slap on some fuzzy socks and curl up with your favorite blanket and get lost within the pages of your book.  I recently was given the opportunity to Review When Jesus was a Green-Eyed Burnette written by Max Davis from FlyBy Promotions.  Honestly it was the

12.16.2016

December Update!

It has been so long since I have posted here....Sorry!  The month of December is so filled with projects, crafts and nights of hot chocolate, board games and Christmas movies.  Not to mention I have been sick...the whole house had it and I was the last.  I held on as long as I could!  HAHAHAHA
I hope everyone is having a Beautiful December Month....this is my Favorite Month!  Over the next few days I will share all that we have been doing.  

Blessings & Hugs

11.30.2016

Bible Journaling Kit ~ REVIEW


It's no secret that I have been coloring in my Bible for a few years now to my Family.  But, I haven't always blasted it out on here but on occasions.  One of my most prized possessions is my ruddy mauve King James Bible I received from my Foster Parents when I was Saved and Baptized at 16.  Every since then no matter what the circumstance I have walked closely with the Lord.  Coming from the Bible Belt area in our country I would have never thought to

11.28.2016

Hey Monday.... See Ya Later!!!

I decided while on our RV trip that when I got back home I wouldn't be doing anymore Mondays.  I mean honestly who Likes Mondays?  So, I have decided that Mondays are going to be kind of like "warm up" days.  So, that I can gear up for the other 4 days and following weekend.  
My weekends look like this:  Big Family Breakfasts, Movie Marathons, Game Fests and a Mad Dash around the house picking up Messes.  So, on Mondays I used to drag around and beat myself up for not being productive enough.  Not, anymore!  I make sure that the important things are accomplished like feeding my Family and my Soul.  Then I make sure the kids Read, complete some sort of project or chore like Mahala just finished cleaning her bathroom from top to bottom.  And I make sure I'm organized and ready to go for the next 4 days of school and complete any phone calls, emails or assignments I'm working on.  

This change has given our Home a more relaxed atmosphere and I have found that we are so productive the rest of the week.  I enjoy lighting candles, listening to music and slowly move into full force on Tuesday.  Today I prepped my Bible Journal for December's Devotional Project, made about 5 phone calls, took care of some Blog/Social Media matters, painted, made a delicious pot of Kale and Turkey soup, washed clothes and read books with Kaden while noshing on blueberry scones and hot chocolate.   And tonight we will start on the Christmas tree....a Beautiful Monday!  How was your Monday, sending Happy Holiday Vibes out to everyone!!!

11.17.2016

The 101 Series ~ REVIEW

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I can not believe that I only have a few years left Homeschooling Mahala....it has gone by way too fast.  That said we have been busy catching up in any areas that she's not strong in and all the loose ends are being tied up.  She needs only one more Science to graduate and that was going to be Zoology.  But, thanks to this next Review she is going to be able to add Chemistry as her final Science.  The Chemistry 101 curriculum is from The 101 Series and it couldn't have come our way at a better time.  Normally we like to use Christian based Science programs and I was thrilled to see that this program hit that nail on the head.  I was pleased to see the quality of the 4 DVDs and videos.  This Series was produced by Westfield Studios, which was created by Wes Olsen.  Wes Olsen is a Homeschool Dad that had 15 years of film production experience and a love for Science that decided he wanted to make a High school level curriculum that was easy to use, understandable and visually enriched.  From the first lesson I can confidently say he succeeded!