The Pencil Grip, Inc. ~ REVIEW

A few weeks back we got a package from The Pencil Grip, Inc. filled with The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit.  We have enjoyed receiving products from them many times.  This time I was most excited to try out their safety scissors.

Kaden is almost 11, but his motor skills and coordination is way behind.  Usually I do most of the cutting when we do projects together in order to tame frustrations and keep him from cutting himself into a million little pieces.  The concept behind their scissors is amazing!!  Usually kid friendly pairs are dull and you have to position the paper just right to get them to actually cut.  When we first took them out Kaden was highly interested in the design.  Light red plastic scissors with a clear fused sheath to the bottom blade and handle.  It offers enough protection that probably even the most determined to get cut children would walk away uncut.  So, that is a mighty good thing and I would say that the scissors do their job protecting little ones and they are nicely sharp.  We had no problems cutting regular paper and even card-stock.  There is even a little yellow lever that when in use helps the scissors spring back open with each cut. 

Unfortunately for us and Kaden's special needs they just didn't work out.  He had a hard time maneuvering them because of the clear fused sheath.  You have to feed the paper between the blades and for him and his motor skills this was just too much for him to accomplish at this time.  I still think it's a great tool and will be passing these on to another family with young kiddos.


The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit we were kind of already familiar with their individual pencil grip that they had kindly given to us during another Review a year or so ago.  We find these sweet little gems extremely helpful!!  In the kit we received The Crossover Grip which is step 1, The Pinch Grip that's Step 2 and the final step called The Original Grip.  They each give your child a comfortable guide to proper pencil holding.  Kaden suffers from hand fatigue like seriously no joke after writing 2 sentences he has to shake out his hand.  The 2nd and 3rd grip gives him the most relief.  I never have to ask him to put one on his pencil or pen.  He is all smiles and can write much longer when he uses his grip.   I even started using The Original Grip when I write for long periods of time, because my hands hurt after long writing sessions.  I find it extremely helpful.

Make sure you Connect with them on Social Media this week.
Ultra Safe Safety Scissors & Pencil Grip Training Kit {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}


Blessing Roll Call

We have had to do a lot of praying and research these last few weeks.  And honestly I am worn down....worn down to the point where my days are just what ever they become.  My expectations are low and my heart is opened wide to receive whatever it is that the Lord has planned for me.  Blessing Roll Call.....This month the Lord has saved my family from contracting something horrid from our filthy bathrooms that haven't been touched with so much as a Clorox wipe in like forever.  He's given me cooler weather and has kept the smoke from local fires to a minimum so I can still go outside and take a few minutes to myself while stuffing my mouth with a GF, vegan muffin.  The sweet Lord has opened my world up a little more and given me some new Friends and support through social media that I wouldn't have had if I waited till Kaden decided that going out of the home was safe and acceptable.  Literally as I lay awake in bed and my Hubby saws logs like a lumberjack I can feel Jesus beside me lulling me to sleep while magically erasing all of my mind clutter.  Thank You Lord....for giving me peace, hope and love.  
Another Day... Another Challenge... Another Prayer... Another Answer... Another Blessing


Another Brinkman Adventure ~ Review

I've always enjoyed the Brinkman Adventures with the kids.  This next Review has us listening to their newest release, the Brinkman Adventures Season 4.  We have listened to all of their other seasons, so Kaden was on me quick as soon as it arrived in the mail.  The Series is a Christian Audio Drama/Entertainment Adventure suitable for the whole Family to listen to and enjoy.  So, who are the Brinkmans?  They are a large Homeschooling Family that are what I would call Real Modern Day Missionaries.  The stories told are based on real life situations and will keep you on the edge of your seat almost the whole time.  We received a set of 4 CD’s that came in a durable plastic case, great for safe keeping, car and RV trips.  There are over 5 hours of adventure in Season 4 with 12 suspenseful episodes and each of the stories are roughly 30 minutes long. (just enough to make you crave for more) You can also get the season as a downloadable MP3 which we have had in the past.


People Under the Bridge

The following post is from 10 years ago....wow has time passed so quickly.  Life recently has been hard to swallow, hard to accept and just plain difficult.  sifting through old posts is something I do on occasion....and wow did I need to reread this one.  Just for a little reminder that where I'm going is no more difficult then where I've been.....

Today was a day that nothing went right.
It started out with a headache that I went to bed with. We had a birthday party to get to by 11am. HA! Then another party to get to at 2pm. I ended up missing both. Had to go to the shop to cover a shift in the middle of it all. Our aupair, Anna lost her ride so we had to get her to the city by 3pm. All this and none of us had ate a thing all day. The baby was the happiest, go figure. While we were dropping Anna off in the city we got lost of course. But, we saw something that changed my thoughts for the day. We saw this under pass with probably 50 homeless people all huddled together. Some had tents others stood by fires trying to deal with the rain and cold. I looked into some of their eyes. I had those eyes. I remember looking into the cars that passed me searching for that "click" look of let me help you. I would think where are they going, where have they been. Who are they? I wanted to be them, anyone.... just not me. Not here, not right now with no place to go. The kids know that there was a time I too had no home, no place to escape the world. Skylar was with me, just the two of us. We talked today briefly about the people under the bridge. Mahala is amazed to hear about the life those people have. Skylar knows, he has been there too.
I sat back in my seat and closed my eyes thanking God that I am not looking into this car wondering where it's going. I know where it's going, it's going Home. Nothing can happen to me now that can compare to where I've been. So automatically my day looked brighter and it didn't seem so bad after all.



Recently we were able to use the Family Membership from CTCMath with both Mahala and Kaden.  I had high hopes for this program, because we had tried it once before and loved it.  But, we have been struggling over here with Kaden as we try to deal with his Autism.  That being said, I hope to continue using CTCMath for the rest of the year for both kids.  But, hey you don't have to just take my word for it.... I'm excited to be able to offer you a FREE Trial so you can try CTCMath out for yourself.  And right now until November 15, 2017 you can take advantage of a great offer for Homeschool Families!!!   60% off + 6 bonus months

CTCMath is a Comprehensive Online Math Tutorial Program for grades K through 12.  
There are over 1,400 Animated and Narrated math lessons, Interactive Exercises, Diagnostic Tests, Feedback to each Student, Detailed Reporting to the Parents, and Much more.


The Answer from Jeremy Camp ~ REVIEW

This must have just been my lucky week....music everywhere I turn.  I have a new CD to share with you today, Jeremy Camp's The Answer.  It just came out today and I am blown away.....the same strong voice that will just blow you over with God's message.
This Album is so fitting right now with the way the world is drowning in Sin, Devastation, Confusion and Pain.  There is Only ONE Answer....Jesus, he is the Answer.  

One song in particular hits me so hard as our family is walking through our own struggles.  The 5th song on the CD is called My Father's Arms.  Jeremy sings...My Father's arms are wider than the sea.  And I'm standing on the shores of Majesty.  No matter how far I run I can never outrun His love.  My Father's arms are holding me.  It goes on to say Here my fears are gone, here I'm safe from harm, there is nowhere else that I would rather be. Oh my goodness....it just speaks volumes to me.

Take a look at the song titles
1. Word of Life
2. My Defender
3. The Answer
4. Storm
5. My Father's Arms
6. Never Stopped Loving
7. Tell the Whole World
8. Heaven's Shore
9. Carriers
10. Love So Great
11. Awake O Sleeper

 I love the passion in the album, The Answer by far is my favorite of his.  Maybe it's just the place I am in my life, but at any rate I feel Peace, Grace and most importantly I feel encouraged.  Because no matter how bad things are here on earth, this is not my home.  Which brings me to my next favorite song from this CD, Heaven's Shore I will run like a child to the arms of your love.  I will sing with tongues of Angels with those who've gone before.  When I look upon your face, the very moment I have craved.  In your presence, forevermore on Heaven's shore.  
Head over Here now and get your own copy, you won't be disappointed.  And watch this special video of Jeremy Camp bellow!


Super Teacher Worksheets ~ REVIEW

I've Reviewed for this next company before and I love them now more than I did before.  Several weeks ago I was asked to give another Review about Super Teacher Worksheets and their Individual Membership.  Since our school is really evolving I need all the help I can get.  Our style of schooling has always been eclectic, but here lately as I try to make school time enjoyable and achievable for Kaden I have been veering further and further away from workbooks, complete curriculum sets and textbooks.  We have been doing mainly unit studies, reading living books and devoting hours to our garden and nature studies.  With the Individual Membership this is totally possible even with no preparation on your part.  And trust me I have had many days where our plans change and I need to come up with something interesting for Kaden to do...... and fast.


Glory Song ~ Matt Redman ~ REVIEW

For the past 5 years or so I have listened only to Christian music.  I love the encouraging words, upbeat music and peace that fills my heart and soul.  When I had the opportunity from FlyBy Promotions to Review Matt Redman's new CD I was excited.  I'm thinking if you are at all like me then your always on the look out for little thank you gifts or ways to give encouragement besides the normal bouquet of flowers or plate of cookies.  Even though...those are pretty awesome to get, but I think after hearing this CD, we may both have another option in our gift giving arsenal. :)

The Proving ~ Book Review

The Proving by Beverly Lewis

About the Book..... Amanda Dienner hasn't seen her Old Order family in five years when she receives word that her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County's most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. Now an Englisher, Mandy is shocked: Her twin sister should have been the obvious choice! What's more, the inheritance comes with a catch: The farmhouse inn will only truly be hers if she is able to successfully run it for twelve consecutive months.

Mandy accepts the challenge even though it means returning to Gordonville and the painful memories she left behind at eighteen. Still, she's determined to prove she is more than capable of running the bed-and-breakfast, no matter that its loyal clientele are expecting an Amish hostess!  The inn isn't Mandy's sole test, however. Rubbing shoulders with her married twin sister reopens wounds that Mandy isn't ready to forgive. And an Englisher guest with a difficult past of her own just complicates matters.

Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this year in Amish country prove a dreadful mistake?

So, what did I think.....  Can I just say wow!  This book was just what I needed to read the past few weeks.  I have needed a little Hallmark movie moment that lasted more then a 2 hour program and this book delivered.  I was able to put myself into Mandy's shoes and pretend a little.  What if I was given an Amish B & B?  And the daydreaming of course continues on while reading through gritted teeth as she stumbles along on this new journey.  Struggles cooking, not meeting people's expectations when they show up at an Amish B & B and your not Amish.  Talk about the Power of Prayer and handing it all over to Lord.....Jesus Take the Wheel comes to mind! :)  I've never read a Beverly Lewis book, but I can tell you I will be starting a collection now, I look forward to many more Amish reads.

Beverly Lewis was born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in twelve languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, making music, and spending time with their family. 
I was given a copy of this Book for Free from Bethany House in exchange for my Honest Review.


All Saints ~ Book Review

All Saints by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle 
All Saints by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle
The True Story Behind the Powerful Film ALL SAINTS

About the Book....
Newly ordained, Michael Spurlock's first assignment is to pastor All Saints, a struggling church with twenty-five devoted members and a mortgage well beyond its means. The best option may be to close the church rather than watch it wither any further. But when All Saints hesitantly risks welcoming a community of Karen refugees from Burma--former farmers scrambling for a fresh start in America--Michael feels they may be called to an improbable new mission.
Michael must choose between closing the church and selling the property--or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. Together, they risk everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.
Discover the true story that inspired the film while also diving deeper into the background of the Karen people, the church, and how a community of believers rally to reach out to those in need, yet receive far more than they dared imagine.

So, what did I think of this book..... I enjoyed reading it, I normally do not go for this type of book when looking for something to read.  But, I was surprised at how after the first few chapters I was desperate to get to the end to see what happened next.  I too know what it's like to hear a small voice inside, not sure if it's God or something I should push away from.  Sometimes by not playing it safe you give God the platform to do some pretty amazing things.  I have not seen the movie, but I t]old my husband we have to see it now.  If you believe in Miracles and the mightiness of God's potential then you will enjoy reading this Powerful story.

About the Authors.....
The Reverend Michael Spurlock served All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Tennessee, for three years. He is currently on the clergy staff at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City. Michael, his wife, Aimee, and their two children live in New York City.
Award-winning author and investigative journalist Jeanette Windle has lived in six countries, authored nineteen books, and mentors writers on five continents. To learn more, visit her at www.jeanettewindle.com.

I received this Book for Free from Bethany House in exchange for my Honest Review.


The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls~ REVIEW

I'm so careful what my children read...it's important to me that they not only read and understand the Bible, but that what they read for school and in their personal time is worth reading.  Is it going to uplift, inspire and encourage them as they grow into young adults?  We read a lot in our home and I'm so pleased to have found this Brand New Series from WorthyKids/Ideas called The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls.  We received Book one and two, The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning (Book 1) and The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark (Book 2).