FlipStir Puzzles ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/08%20-%20August/17%20Enlivenze/FS2-SOLSYS_Main-cut_hr_zpsf5gimhde.jpgWe love games and puzzles in this house and we incorporate them in our daily homeschool when we can.  We had been planning our cross country RV trip for a long time now.  Even though we do bring multiple games with us we have not yet brought a puzzle along.  When I heard about FlipStir Puzzles from Enlivenze LLC.  I was intrigued by the name right off the bat.  I was offered the Solar System puzzle to try in exchange for a Review on it.  I thought wow, I have this cross country RV trip this would be perfect to take along with us!   And that's what we have done, here it sits in the cup holder of our RV and trust me it has come in handy more then once on our dusty trail cross country! :)

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/08%20-%20August/16%20-%20%20Foreign%20Languages%20for%20Kids%20by%20Kids/beginner-spanish-set2_zpsomki6k3q.jpgI know I have written many many times how I have tried to learn Spanish in college and along with the Kiddos during various Spanish Product Reviews.  I have yet to find something that broke down my language barrier, but the Kids have had a different experience when it comes to learning languages and I am thankful for that.  Recently we were given the opportunity to Review the Spanish Program Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids.


Teaching Your Kiddos While Your On The Road

We took a nature hike today and I was impressed how eager Kaden was to get out and explore.  Mahala on the other hand was fine doing book work in the air conditioned RV.  Our plan is to do an hour of book work a day while we are on our trip.  The important thing for me is to remind myself we are not just camping.  We are trying full-time on to see how it feels.  Will it work for our Family?  I most definitely could continue full time in this RV from here on out.  But, will it be right for us at this point?  Is it going to work with Kaden?  How will we work and make money?  What about Dr.'s appointments and therapy?  We have a lot to think about these next 2 months....and having a routine and sticking to it is crucial, especially with a child on the Spectrum.

Part of our routine is personal health, chores, Spiritual growth, exercise and learning.  Our kids read like it's their full time job.  In our RV right now we have over 100 books that we brought with us.  We are crazy readers, a few days a go we literally bought 3 additional books.  Not to mention I brought my Kindle with us too and I have 100's of books on there.  So, we get our reading done for sure.  I'll talk about all the things listed up there, but today I was going to talk about the learning on the road situation.

For this trip we brought a little something for every subject area.  Kaden only brought books for English along with his daily journal.  But, Mahala brought her complete English curriculum including Spelling and Vocabulary.  Every day they read and journal and then an hour of whatever book work they want to do.  While we are on the road driving we stop at least once at some sort of educational museum or monument.  While there we go around as a Family to look, read, explore and ask questions.  I want my kids to seek out education, not be hand feed a bunch of facts and dates only to recite them once or twice and then forget them.  We are a very hands on Family, we learn by experiencing and doing.  We take every opportunity we can.  Like the other day we ate on a Train that was converted into a diner.  While we were there we looked up the year of the train, where it's original routes were.  We talked about the different types of engines, who shoveled the coal, the cost of the 1st tickets, who traveled by train back then, who invented the train, train robberies, wild west transportation, the economy in the West, trading, the Indians......here comes lunch!  Our conversations grow and grow and I love when the kids bring up a place we have gone to or plan to see into our discussions.  It's by doing this that they retain what they are learning.....because it is important to them and has meaning.  Why?  Because it's learning with you, their Family! :)

Once we stop and get settled for at least a night the next day we grab a collecting box, Ziploc bag, binoculars, gloves, magnifying glasses and our notepad.  And we explore the area and find new things we have never seen before.  Kaden is such a black and white thinker, so it warms my soul when he picks up a rock or stick and tells me what it resembles or he drops off into imagination land for a minute and pretends he's a Pirate.  These moments come on strong, but fade too quickly and I feel Blessed to be able to be there when they happen.

Other ways we learn on the road is educational movies and shows, board/card games and the computer.  Kaden and Mahala both use sites like Khan Academy and several other programs that makes learning possible no matter where you are or what you want to learn about.  How do you school on the road or at home?  I would love to hear all about it! :)


We made it to Downtown Bentonville Arkansas

My Favorite Place so far has got to be Bentonville Arkansas!  It is so Beautiful and quaint....I picked up some real estate papers while we were out and about today.  It is a little humid and it would take some getting used to, but the greenery and people are just amazing.  I Love stepping into a town that makes you feel like you are already apart of it.  Open windows, freely given smiles and hellos....not to mention all the people out and about enjoying their town.  Such great vibes here, here is a little video of the town center!


Dealing with Meltdowns in the RV

Dealing with the meltdowns.....
Wow have we had some doozies, we knew they would happen.  We just wasn't prepared for them to be so frequent.  Not only is he having his normal flares, but now he had new triggers.  These would include things like smells, new food, unfamiliar places, overly tired, overly excited and changes in his schedule.  Life on the road you can't always eat lunch at 11:32.  Especially as we cross through these time zones....they are Killing us!  For instance the other day we ate a late lunch which was fine he dealt with it.  We climbed back into the RV and it was almost 2pm.  We traveled for awhile and then made a pit stop, not realizing we crossed into another time zone.  What was 4 was now 5, we weren't hungry but he knows at 6pm we eat.  No amount of explaining was going to get him to let go of there needs to be food entering my belly in less then an hour.  So, he got an approved snack at 6pm and we waited until we pulled in for the night to eat our meal.  It worked out, but there was a lot of confusion and fear.  

He gets fearful of the unknown and even the possibility of change.  We are hoping that with this trip we can help him feel more comfortable when life calls for changes.  Gone are the days when he couldn't get into the van after a movie until all the credits played or not be able to cross over different types of flooring until he touched it with his check.  So, I know he can continue to grow and learn to trust in life's little surprises that they aren't all bad.  Sometimes change is good, even better then what was originally planned.  
It's just one step at a time.....right now we just keep him safe from hurting himself and ignore.  When I say ignore I mean we don't feed into the meltdown by asking questions and trying to calm him.  That creates too much stimuli and makes it even worse.  We average about 5 a day with only having to restrain him maybe 1 or 2 of those times.  We are looking into other options when we return home.  We know it is only a matter of time when we may not be able to keep him safe from himself.  Right now is so important to try and help him as much as possible!  I'll write soon about the oils we are using right now for him and the whole Family!


Camping with Autism

Having a child with Autism on a 2 month long RV trip has it's obstacles, but it also has many advantages.  While we adventure cross country and camp I plan to share our experiences and our methods of dealing with the ups and downs.  I'll be sharing how we homeschool, eat, remain sane and feed our soul.  I'll also share videos and tons of pics, so come on and join us on this next chapter in our life!


Heading North Before East

First off I have to say I do not like driving at night and hopefully I’ll never have to drive in the dark again……especially in this RV.  Going up and down the mountains at 10pm is not my idea of a good time, but we did it to catch up and quickly decided 3 hours of driving like that was enough.  We pulled over at a Cabela’s and stayed safely there for the night with several other Travelers.   We slept like babies…this RV is truly a Blessing.  The Lord provided everything we needed in an RV.  Funny thing is we had a list of must haves and wants.  Everyone told us we probably wont find an RV with everything on our list, so we were prepared to pick a few of our important needs and compromise on the rest.  But, we didn’t have to compromise...shockingly we got every want and need on our list!

We made it to Salt Lake City.....the Salt Flats were something I have Never Seen before, not on tv or even a picture.  So I wasn't sure what to expect and my eyes were filled with this magnificent  view below.  I was like a child on Christmas morning!!  


Angry Neighbors Sweet Apologies

What an amazing trip so far…….. last Tuesday after they fixed our RV we decided to finish filling it up and to just go.  We wanted to try and make up for the time we lost.  We have been planning this trip for years and actively investing a lot of preparation time for about a year now.   So, to be almost completely packed minus just clothes and pillows Last Friday and find out you can’t go is devastating.  We had to wait out the whole weekend because nobody was opened.   The following day as we were emptying the food and essentials to put back in the house our neighbor came over.  I was shocked to hear him very upset that our RV was still out in front of our house.  He was tired of looking at it.  At first I thought he was just kidding…..but he was for real, even had a written letter that he was going to send in to the HOA.  We explained the situation and I tried to assure him that we were getting out the necessities and taking it back to storage.  After hearing the whole story he was embarrassed, apologized and we proceeded to clear out what we need from the RV.  Before heading back to his house he told us that we must be mighty good people to be going through what we were and having a neighbor come over and spout off at you the way I did.  I told him that I knew God had a plan and it was literally out of our hands.  It would be a waste to turn our energy into frustration, anger and worry….there’s no point in it. 
That weekend was a little slower than normal, we just took the time needed to do other things around the house.  Our neighbor came over with his Wife and gave us a pie.  That was so sweet and we once again assured him there was no hard feelings.  Monday morning we finally got in touch with our Dealership.  We woke up at 6am to get it to the service department on Tuesday morning…. praying for an easy fix.  And you know what the Lord gave it to us.  The part that needed to be replaced was right there just waiting on us.
I think it pays to try and be calm while letting go and letting God.  So much of our lives we think are in our own hands and it’s not.  We have to know when to let go and when to push forward.  I’m a work in progress when it comes to that.
Tuesday night we made the 2 hour trip back home, finished packing the RV all back up again, ate dinner and left.  We just wanted to get going to see what the Lord has in store for us.  Follow along with us as we journey cross country!


Getting Familiar!

Oh my goodness we had an amazing time in Northern CA last week.  We took one last trip before the BIG ONE and boy am I happy we did.  It was a tight squeeze to get everything planned and ready, but it was worth it.  Now when we get into the RV it's like Home, an old hat, just another thing we do.  But, I remember when we first got it I even walked lighter, I was worried I'd break something.  I forgot where I put things and I kept finding new hiding holes everywhere.  It was a whole new world then, now we climb aboard...everything has it's place and we are ready to roll at a moments notice.  A huge change and much appreciated.  Because before we set out on this 2 month long journey with Kaden we had to have some sort of familiarity built up or Kaden was not going to be a Happy Camper, which in turn would make us not so happy campers as well! :(

I would say for the most part Kaden is adjusting nicely, but we still have bumps and hurdles to jump just to make it through the day out on the road....more of that to come in future posts.


Beric The Briton ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/07-20%20Beric%20The%20Briton%20Heirloom/Beric%20The%20Briton%20Cover%20Image_zpswtfjirrr.jpgWe love Audio Dramas around here, we have a whole case full of them in the van.  We have been doing a lot of prep-camping for our Big RV Trip, so I was excited to tell the Family about my newest Review from Heirloom Audio Productions..... Beric The Briton!  To make our experience even better we also received access to special bonuses along with our CDs.  We received a Full Color downloadable Study Guide and Discussion Starter, a mp3 Soundtrack, 2 mp3 Files of the Audio Drama, Beric The Briton ebook, a Behind-the-Scenes Video, and Posters.

Beric The Briton is the Newest story in the Audio Drama collection based on the Adventure books by G.A. Henty produced by Heirloom Audio Productions.  It offers over 2 hours of entertainment with a twist of Character building and Faith strengthening.  And I must not forget...it's packed full of suspense and action!  Our Family enjoys all things History, so Kaden was the most excited to hear that the setting is in Ancient Rome.  We decided to take it on our last 10 day camping trip.  We were quickly taken back to the days of Ancient Rome first century AD, during the time when Nero was the Roman Emperor.  The story shows Courage, Faith and Sacrifice as it follows the life of Beric the Briton, a young man who takes on the Romans.  He is captured and forced into the Gladiator world and rises quickly into a High Power position of Honor....compliments of Nero.  But, it doesn't last...he has convictions when he is introduced to the forbidden Christian faith and he must decide how far he is willing to go to follow orders over what he believes in. 

We did not bring the Study Guide with us on our trip, but I was able to revisit it once we got home.  But, as we were listening the things that caught Kaden's attention was the life of a Gladiator.  He could tell the struggle Beric was going through and the moments that Faith stepped in Kaden beamed.  This is big for him....having Autism makes it difficult to relate to people.  And he was relating to this character.  The roaring and noise at the Colosseum was so realistic....Kaden had his feet up under him and literally was on the edge of his seat listening to every word.  After listening we talked about the way it would have been to live in Faith back then in Rome.  He was able to express feelings and connect his book knowledge to emotions.  

Once we got home we broke out the library card and checked out some Ancient Roman books, several on Gladiators and even poetry.  We went through the Guide and he really enjoyed the extras, honestly we probably should have looked at it first before we went to the Library....but that's ok! :)  Kaden had full comprehension of the story and that shined when he answered every one of the Listening Well Questions.  Even most of the Thinking Further Questions were in his reach, only a few caused a little frustration.  But, mainly because Kaden struggled to find the words or how to not just see Black or White.  The Vocabulary Words and Amazing Bible Verses were all icing on the cake.  

So, what did we think?  Well, we Loved it....I loved the Message, the Quality and the Precious Time I was able to share with Kaden.  All while learning and growing together as a Family.  This is one of the reasons why I enjoy Homeschooling so much.  Amazing products like this makes educating at home easier, more enjoyable and memorable.  I think this would work for any car trip or for down time, while you cook or get ready for an outing.  If we wouldn't have listened on a car trip I would sit out some quiet snacks and curl up on the couch with the kids while listening. 


Make sure you head over right now and see what's going on with Heirloom Audio Productions on Social Media.  Even check out the Special FB Pages for both Beric The Briton and the G.A. Henty Series!

*Beric The Briton Facebook Page

*The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty Series Facebook page

*Heirloom Audio Productions Social Pages:
Crew Disclaimer
Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review


The Power in Your Hands ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/07-19%20Writing%20with%20Sharon%20Watson/Power%20in%20Your%20Hands%20Student%20Textbook%202nd%20Edition%209781519417763%20copy_zpsqozfdhgc.jpgI love to write and despite my lack of Grammar skills and Technique I did exceptional in High school.  Even in College I was able to skate by without too many red flags that I may not be on top of my game like the guy beside me.  Even though I made it through I don't want Mahala to just "make it through".  I want her to have more opportunities then I did and that starts with education.  This past year I have been focused on what she reads and working on writing and comprehension.  She recently finished Jump In by Sharon Watson and I really saw Mahala flourish.  I saw boundaries come down that had been up for Generations.  Naturally I was ecstatic to have to opportunity to Review The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, 2nd Edition from Writing with Sharon Watson.  Mahala was thrilled to continue further on her writing journey.  I received both the Student Workbook and Teacher's Guide.


What's Happining....

I'm finished, our route is all mapped out and I'm not changing another thing.  Six times I've rewritten our Big Trip route and I'm finally satisfied and it fits within our time frame.  Now to finish gathering supplies, pack the RV and go!  Just a few more weeks and it will just be us, the map and the open road!  I'm so looking forward to this!!!
The other day we dropped off the RV to get a few things fixed that's under warranty.  It's impossible to believe I know....that we need things fixed on a brand new RV.  Fingers crossed it will be back in time and it wont cut into vacation time.  
Also, I forgot to post the curtains I made for the RV.  I wanted to give the kids each like a privacy curtain and then I did one for the bathroom area.  I don't know how to sew, so I kind of cheated and did the iron on bonding strips instead of sewing.  They turned out beautiful and the kids Love them!!!  
We also celebrated Leslie's 21st Birthday the other day too.  She loves chocolate, so I made her a chocolate and nutella cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream.  Yeah, I would say that it was delicious!!! 


ArtAchieve ~ REVIEW

I was born with paint brushes and a glue gun in my hand.  I love all things crafty, colorful and a blank piece of paper doesn't scare me in the least bit!  But, that didn't get passed down to all my Kiddos.  Skylar is just like me, give him a piece of paper and he can paint, draw or craft a paper hat out of it.  Mahala is my thinker and planner....my creative brain doesn't really understand that....but that's how she works.  She needs a plan, a ruler, scratch paper and swatches of different colors and then she creates a well thought out beautiful project.  Kaden, well he would rather eat rocks then to do anything creative.  It breaks my heart...literally!!!  But, when all the planets align and the moon is just so you can really get into his head by what he creates.  He uses color and materials in a way I never would think of.  Skylar is off to college, so it's just Mahala and Kaden now.  I'm a little too artsy fartsy for my Daughter to truly learn from and honestly my creative mess makes her crazy.  So, I try to get her involved in Art programs that she can learn from someone else.  We keep Family crafting to the Holidays and lazy afternoons.


Big Trip Big Goals

Getting ready for our Big cross country trip has had it's ups and downs.  Mostly Ups as we learn more about the RV and planning our route.  I have changed our route 4 times already.....I'm at the point that I think we should just hop on the road and just go. :)  The route we are taking right now has us arriving at Disney World on the exact day we need to be there, so there isn't room for a lot of error.  This typically scares me because with Kaden things can change at any minute.  But, we decided if we need to change things up as we travel we can cancel the top portion of our trip on the East Coast....not a fan of that, but it is what it is.  

Our main goal for this trip is to figure out where and how to relocate.  Honestly we are ready for a change....ideally I would love 10 acres with a small house on it so that we could grow and raise our own food while making soaps and homemade things for extra income.  On the other hand we are really considering full time RV life.  We plan to look at a few properties as we travel and pray that the Lord will open our eyes to where he needs us most.  This next chapter in our lives promises excitement.....I can feel it!


NotebookingPages.com ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/06-28%20NotebookingPages%20com/npc-lifemember-square1-800x800_zpsjp7ecxbi.png  I have always Loved creating LapBooks, my Sister actually got me hooked on them and I did them more with my Older Kiddos when they were younger.  Kaden is a different story, he prefers putting things in an organized notebook.  Awhile back my Sister told me about NotebookingPages.com.  We were doing a few studies together with our boys.  Recently I was able to have a Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership from NotebookingPages.com.  The past 10 days we have been RV camping and you better believe I had plenty to give the Kiddos to encourage learning while we were enjoying nature.

A New Day....New Song

A wonderfully c-l-e-a-n classroom table is a Beautiful sight.  It was a beautiful sight while it lasted.  Now it's covered with art projects, vocabulary words, the Bible a few readers, pencils, markers, a planner, 3 cups and a pack of paper clips .  And I couldn't be happier....this is going to be our Best year.  This year our Family is Stronger, Happier and Healthier.  My Marriage is Stronger then EVER before and we are finally a team and Jesus is our Coach.  Life is a pleasure, not a struggle anymore.  With this new peace I have room to breathe and my mind is clear to concentrate on my kids and still have strength to do all the other things I need to do each day.

This year I have found a great organization system that works great for me.  It's nothing fancy and actually my Husband thinks I should stick with an online planner for maximizing my time.  But, I am just a paper and pen kind of gal.  It just works best for me.  And that's something I have learned the past few years, life is short, pick your battles, worry less and pray more and the biggest of them all is not worrying about the other guy.  What works for one person may not work for me and that's ok.  The days of me trying to fit into someone else's shoes are soooooo over.  YAY for Me!!!  Yay for my Kiddos.....they get all of me and not bit's of the real me mixed with patches of other people I thought were better then me.


Veritas Press ~ REVIEW


I've had a few road bumps in the road to get this next Review out to you all, but it was one of our Family's all time Favorites so I had to do everything possible to get it to you.  I'll explain that Adventure in a later post, but now let me tell you about this next Review.  A few years ago I was introduced to a lovely company, Veritas Press, I fell in love with the way they taught Classic Education.  To this day Kaden still remembers that year's History.  Later that same year we were able to try a small sampling of their New VeritasBible.com for a brief few weeks as a trial.  You can go HERE and do the same exact thing.  We were anxiously awaiting for the day to be able to try it full time.  And that day has come, we were able to get a full one year Family subscription to VeritasBible.com.


MySchoolYear.com ~ REVIEW


Have you ever felt like you could just remember everything you have to do for the week off the top of your head.  Or maybe your counter is littered with tiny strips of papers and envelops with lists and ideas scribbled out on them.  Do you have 1, 2, 3, 4 datebooks, notebooks and calendars to try and keep your Family on the right track?  Does any of this sound familiar...it does to me!  This is my life of chaos, I'm just trying to make some sense of it all.  I have always been one to write out my daily and weekly plans.  A written account is Golden in my World...I need it to stay semi-sane.  I have tried online calendars and tracking sheets in the past....I know you have probably read the Reviews in the past.  They just don't work for me, they are usually to restrictive and dry.  I need to doodle, underline, highlight and have open space to be creative on a moments notice. 


LearnBop ~ REVIEW

I have a Love Hate relationship with Math...just saying the word gives me PTSD flashbacks of my childhood.  I struggled, ignored and gave up early in High School.  Being in Foster Care gave me the perfect cover to just float by unnoticed.  That being said, even though I thought I had outsmarted the "system"....I know that not taking Math throughout my whole High School years didn't do me a lick of good.  Since then I have passed down my story of struggle to each of the kids to encourage them to find a solution when they struggle with Math.  Mahala has the hardest time and right now she is stuck in the same exact place I was.  I always say if somethings not working for you, change it!  So, with her we do many different Math supplements to get her through this difficult time.  Which is why I was Super stoked to get the chance to Review LearnBop for Families from LearnBop for the past several weeks.  I decided to have both Mahala and Kaden try it out, because I can Never give Kaden Enough Math to satisfy him.  I have no idea how he is mine....but I'll keep him! :)


Don't Worry About My Ugly...You have Your Own

We have been swamped around here....whoever said having older Kiddos will make for an easier life was crazy.  When they were little we hung out and did crafts all day and made funny Sandwich faces and geometric shapes with our fruit.  There was nothing a good swab of glitter, an oreo cookie or and afternoon of blowing bubbles couldn't fix....not so anymore.  Our lives are filled with transcripts, afternoon employment, practices, tournaments, therapy and appointments.  Honestly I could go on and on, but that's not what I want to focus on right now.  

Since going through over 2 years of Therapy and Recovery work with my Husband I have recognized many of my flaws, insecurities and personal obstacles that I tend to blow out of proportion because of fear when I should be leaning in on God.  That's a mouthful and one that you don't want everyone to always know.  But, over these last few years that fake plaster wall I so carefully built around myself has come down and the real raw more damaged me is exposed.  And I'm not sorry for that, you take it or leave it.  And you know what....many people leave it, because my Ugly reminds them that they have Ugly too.  And that can be scary and who wants to deal with that?  Who wakes up in the morning excited to take on their garbage they have been dragging around with them for 30 years?

Great Expectations E-Guide ~ REVIEW

Reading is a past time around here...you can always be sure each of us has a book close at hand no matter if we are camping or out doing errands.  I like to supplement our Science and History with Good books and Strong Literature.  My Kiddos retain by working with their hands, reading and talking about different periods of time or Subjects.  That can sometimes mean a lot of extra work for me to do.  A year or so ago I found a company that did a lot of that extra work for me.....Progeny Press.  Recently I was given the opportunity again to Review a Study Guide for them.  Progeny Press is a company that provides Study Guides for Literature, from a Christian Perspective and the Study Guide they gave me to Review was Great Expectations E-Guide. (Recommended for grades 9-12)  Oh my goodness just saying the Title brings back boat loads of High school memories for me. :)  We have spent a lot of time reading over the years, but these last few years of school I have been concentrating on having Mahala read more of the Classics, which is why I decided to have her do this Review with me.  I want her to have to same Reading Adventures I had as a teenager....I Love having chats with her about what she's reading.


Forbrain ~ REVIEW

We have three Kiddos with some sort or Learning Disability or Disorder.  So, I was super excited to give the Forbrain (recommended for ages 5+) System a try from Forbrain - Sound For Life Ltd. I decided to use it with both Mahala and Kaden.  I was intrigued when I learned that I could use my own voice to Boost my brain.  Hmmmm, I need all the help I cam get.  I read that basically it trains your brain to be more attentive and to improve sensory integration and auditory processing.   It works by creating an Auditory Feedback Loop that basically with Bone Conduction, which is another way that your body processes sound and delivers the voice directly through to the brain.  Forbrain is a wireless headset with microphone that will correct the way you hear your own voice, this alone will give you better speech production as you hear yourself and able to correct what you hear.  This amazing Bone Conduction delivers the sound of your voice 10 X faster than regular old Air Conduction that occurs when you talk without the Forbrain.


Sway in the Wind

We are packed up, organized and ready to go on our first RV trip.  It's real close by and only for 4 days....which is a good thing because the whole way home yesterday from getting our New BEAST I was laid out on the couch a moment away from hurling all over our new leather sofa.  This is what I looked up at for 2 hours swaying back in forth.  Poor Kaden was in his bunk asking me if I needed him to rub my tummy.  Such a sweet boy!!!

So, I'm hoping that with time I will adjust...if not poor Mahala is going to have to be Dad's Navigator all Summer long.  I think she wouldn't mind that so much anyway.  So, here is a quick video of our New place....our Home on wheels.  Once we get situated I will do a more proper showing.  I can't wait to share our whole journey.  A Mom, Dad, Teenage Daughter, Boy on the Spectrum, a Service Dog and finally 1 really old Dog that we just hope will make it through the whole trip without kicking the bucket!  Yeah, it should be fun...all 15,000 miles of it!

The Glass Castle ~ REVIEW


Look at that Book cover...it's just filled with mystery and trust me once you put your little fingers on it you will be hard pressed to hand it over to your Kiddos to read until you have read it all.  Yes, I know this because of experience.  Shiloh Run Press has given me the chance to Review their New book, The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe & Jerry B. Jenkins.  Of course we LOVE reading and I struggle to keep books in Kaden's hands because he reads them so quickly.  I was thrilled to get to offer Kaden a New Series that he had heard nothing about before.
This is a Book Review and I promise to only share a little with you.  I will say that by far this is one of the Best Kiddo Book I have read in a long time.  I could see this Series being a series we crack back open year after year.  And that says a lot, because Kaden reads and leaves....that's what we say all the time.  He hardly ever rereads a book besides the Bible.  But, this book he didn't just leave he read, finished it and placed it on a shelf.  I could tell that it was a book he wanted to have for future reads.


MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs~ REVIEW

We are a reading Family, there isn't a book we couldn't curl up with and read on any given lazy weekend.  I have been blessed to have Kiddos that enjoy reading and I've never had to struggle teaching them or getting them to do it.  Kaden read at the early age of 3 all by himself....I still don't understand how he did it. :)  So, when I first heard about MaxScholar and Reviewing their MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs...I figured it was not for us.  My Kiddos don't need an "intervention" when it comes to reading....Math, is a different story...we need all the help we can get. :)  But, since we are a reading Family I looked into this company a little bit more and I realized this was not just for Kiddos who can't read or who struggle.  This offered away for Kiddos with all learning styles to better their reading skills, comprehension and knowledge.  I was floored at the teaching style, what all was covered and how it would be a chance to strengthen what Kaden already knows how to do, so I decided this is a product I have to Review.  I'll try to explain a little better down below.


Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-1017 ~ REVIEW

I know you know I can not use technology to organize my time, week, school work or anything for that matter.  I am just a simple notebook and pencil kind of girl, always have been.  I have used many different kinds of planners and calendars over the years and have found the more simple the better.  I was asked to Review the Hey Mama! Print Schoolhouse Planner 2016-1017($29) from The Old Schoolhouse and was eager to get it in my little hands.   

RV There Yet?????

Planning for our RV trip has pretty much consumed all my free time and even stolen away a few precious sleepy time hours.  But, we have a route to and from Key West and we are excited!!!  We actually go and pick up the RV next Wednesday.  YAY!!!  We plan to do a quick weekend trip and then a week long trip before we actually do the BIG ONE!  That way we hope to work out all the kinks and find our little camping groove before we are hundreds of miles away from home.

I've already started a few organizational lists to sort out what we need to bring on the trip, along with a few wants.  Kaden's CD collection is a want, my Costco sized Ibuprofen bottle is a Must!  HAHAHAHA  I'm kind of just planning it a little like tent camping this first weekend trip.  I figured I'll tweak it for the next time and so forth until I have a system down.  We are just going local so if we don't have something we can just do without it and just make sure we bring it next time.  

I remember 16 years ago when we first started camping I took everything I thought we would need and a giant notebook.  While we were camping any time I wished I had something or came up with an idea I wrote it down for future camp trips.  Now it's a breeze and all in my head what to take.  I can get our whole Family, gear, food and all out the door in 3 hours.  But, now with the RV it's going to be a little different....a whole new system.  Tomorrow I'll share a little bit of our route........


Essential Skills Advantage ~ REVIEW


My Kiddos are on the computer far more then I would like on most days.  I prefer them to be playing outside, reading or spending quality time with Friends and Family.  But, my idea of a perfect day doesn't always match up with what they have in mind.  So, when it comes to school I do tend to let them pick curriculum or programs online to use throughout the week.  That way at least they are learning and not just staring at a screen building, capturing or fighting for hours.  That being said I was so thrilled to learn about Essential Skills Advantage.  We were given a year subscription from them to Review their Complete Home Learning Suite.  I was really excited because the program consists of multiple subjects like Science, History, Math, Reading Comprehension and more.  ESA offers complete programs for Reading and Math for grades K-3.  Even though there is not a complete program for grades 4-6 in reading and math, there is plenty of work to do.  They offer work for grades 1-6 in Spelling, Language/Grammar work for grades 3-6.  History/Geography for grades 3-5, and Science for just grades K-3.  It may sound a little confusing at first, but it is very easy to navigate and to see what is available. 


Sunya Publishing ~ REVIEW


My Family is always on the look out for New Games, especially educational ones.  We supplement our school day several times a week with games.  Not long ago I found out about a New Company named Sunya Publishing.  We were given the opportunity to Review one of their Newest Math and Science Games called Sunya The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing. (ages9+)  Of course Kaden was all over it and we couldn't wait till it arrived.  He literally asked to check the mail every day till it came. :)


Science Shepherd Introductory Science~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/05-23%20Science%20Shepherd/ScienceShepherdIntroScience_zpsp2mry1vp.jpg If I want to get everyone to run to the Kitchen table I either announce I just made a huge plate of Smores cookies or that we are doing a Science Experiment.  I'm pretty good with either one of those options myself.  They both end up making me a Happy Momma!! :)  This next Review I did with Kaden, but Mahala poked her head in to see what we were up to every now and then.  Kaden was given a year long access to Science Shepherd and their Introductory Science.  We were also given a Physical copy of Introductory Science Workbook Level B and Introductory Science Answer Key Level B.  Introductory Science is Creation Based Science and is geared towards Kiddos 5-11 with Level B being more for ages 9-11.  Kaden is 9, so I thought this would be a great way to touch on a lot of areas of Science.  His reading level is extremely high, so this was almost too easy for him as far as the amount of work given and comprehension questions.  It was super easy to get him on board to try this program out.  


Book of Astronomy Set ~ REVIEW

Wow....Science has been one of my Favorite Subjects since I was a little Girl.  Astronomy was something near and dear to my heart because my Dad was a Sailor and loved teaching me about the constellations.  He would share stories with me about the nights he drifted out in the water.  How when he was lonely he knew he wasn't "really" alone.  God and all of His creations were just up above him telling the same stories over and over.  This of course would make me beg him to tell me those stories.  And the night would be filled with these amazing stories he had learned about these little dots in the sky.  After losing my Dad when I was just 11 years old I have treasured these sweet memories deep in my heart.  My Dad's stories are just one of the things I have enjoyed passing along to my own Kiddos.  When Memoria Press offered us the chance to REVIEW their Book of Astronomy Set(grades 3+) I was extremely excited to have something additional to go along with what we have already learned regarding Astronomy.  I have always had a special place in my heart for Memoria Press from previous REVIEWS I've done in the passed.  Even though we are very eclectic and less structured in our school I value their Classical Curriculum they offer.  

More than a Vacation

We have been super excited and trying to muster up some patience as we wait for our RV to arrive.  Yes, we did it....in just a few short months we will be going cross country spreading our wings.  This has been a dream of mine since I was a young girl.  The only glitch is Skylar, my oldest will not be able to come along. :(  But, that's ok Mahala and I plan to record and document it all so that he feels like he was right there with us. 

This trip is more then just a vacation, we plan to find our "new" home.  We have decided it's time to get out of Suburbia and dig our heals deep into the dirt....God's dirt.  We are putting it into God's hands and honestly have No preference or idea as to where our "new" home will be.  We just trust that when we get there we will know.  We have nowhere to be and no ties to try and keep.  The whole Family will take the move with us....Skylar and his Wife included.

So, lot's of changes to come in the near future...now to start planing for the trip.  The first thing I did was requested Travel and State Guides from each of the states we will be visiting....all 32 of them.  And they are coming in by the truck load, I wonder what our Mail Person is thinking?  Most states have been super generous and we have more then enough information to plan the most exciting trip ever!  We have local calendars, brochures for museums, shopping and entertainment.  All the camp grounds and theme park locations.  Not to forget the festivals and Summer festivities going on in all the small towns we will be going through.  I'm giddy just thinking about this New Adventure we are about to start.  

If you have any travel ideas, sight-seeing opportunities that we can't miss send them to me.  We will leave CA in the end of July and head East until September and then head back out West. :)


Institute for Excellence in Writing ~ REVIEW


I remember as a child memorizing, reading and writing little Poems.  It was a sweetness of my childhood that I fondly remember to this day.  Unfortunately this day and age I haven't passed that Love onto my Kiddos like I had wanted.  So, when I was given the opportunity to Review Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization($65.00) by Institute of Excellence in Writing I was like a Kid in a candy store. 

Here are the following items included in this set:
*Sturdy spiral bound Teacher Manual containing all of the Poems and Speeches
*CD case with 5 cd's with all of the readings
*Student Book E-BOOK pdf download
*Special DVD of Mr. Andrew Pudewa's Inspiring Conference Talk~  
Nurturing Competent Communicators
*7 Audio Mp3 workshop Downloads from the IEW Website:
~Mastery Learning, Ability Development, and Individualized Education
~Ten Thousand Times and Then Begins Understanding
~On Listening
~On Speaking
~On Reading
~On Writing


ARTistic Pursuits Inc. ~ REVIEW


I Long to Create something Beautiful every single day.  From a To Do List, a Passage in my Bible to something to Hang Up on my wall for all to see.  Even though I'm always within a foot from some sort of a Craft Supply Basket busting at the seams I still need help "Teaching" Art to my Kiddos.  Luckily we have had the pleasure of using Amazing Art Curriculum from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. in the past. And several weeks ago they sent us their Sculpture Technique Model Art Curriculum to Mahala for Review.  The Sculpture Technique Series is geared towards High School and has 2 Books(sold separately)- Model and Construct.  Last year Mahala completed the Construct Book and enjoyed it so much.  And another great advantage is each of the Books count as a High School Credit! :)  

Updates in the Manic House.....

It's been super busy here....we are doing our backyard, buying an RV and planning our cross country trip all while we are trying to wrap up our Spring School Season and getting ready to start our Summer School.  I love the change of the seasons, we school differently with each one.  I noticed that a few years ago while we were struggling to get things done during the Winter months.  I'll have to post something regarding our Seasonal Homeschooling soon.  I love the flexibility that Homeschooling offers us as a Family!  


Music Appreciation from Zeezok Publishing LLC ~ REVIEW

Kaden has listened to classical music since he was in my tummy.  He fell in love with piano instantly from hours of listening to Mahala play and naturally he enjoys playing too.  Kaden feels the music much like most of the Greatest Composers of all time.  I tell him it's just one of the gifts his Autism has enhanced for him.  So, it was like Christmas morning here at our house when we received a box from Zeezok Publishing LLC.  Kaden opened the box quickly to find their Newest product.... Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades.  This 2 year long program introduces your Kiddos to Music Theory and covers the lives and beginnings of 7 of the greatest Composers that ever walked...Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, and Schubert.  We received the Student Activity Book, Several Music CDs, & Composer Biographies and a Lapbook Making CD.


Message from the Lord....

I Quickly wanted to share one of my Favorite Quotes that I heard a few months after Discovery of My Husband's Addiction.  

“God wont Protect You from What He will Perfect You through”.

This gave me a world of comfort and relief….I knew God had my life under control, even if it didn’t look like it to me.  Like that whole Tapestry story…..underneath the huge needlepoint tapestry is a huge mess of strings and tangled knots.  So many stray colors and lengths of thread, you couldn’t make out heads or tails of what the picture on the other side looks like.  But, when you walk around to the front you see the Beauty of His masterpiece.  It’s clear now….the storms are calm….You are His Masterpiece.  And He has created You for His work, to Love Him, to Live for Him, to Trust Him.
Your life may look like a mess now, but I promise God has a plan…..just Believe and have Faith.  Sending you all Love from my Heart and Praying Daily for You all……