Drive Thru History® – "The Gospels"~ REVIEW


Have you ever used something in your homeschool that you absolutely fell in love with?  You know when you look in your neatly done planner, list on a napkin with crayon or whatever it is you're jotting on these days to keep your life in some kind of order.... and you see that special something and you can't wait to do that thing first with your kids.  Because for one thing it's enjoyable and you actually learn right along with your kids.  So, in my whole homeschooling life of 10 years this has happened only twice.  Drive Thru History® is my Favorite homeschool product that I have ever used.  I'm talking mouth opened, starring at the screen... slowly eating popcorn... while learning a whole lot more then I ever did in High school.  So, what is my next Review?  Drive Thru History® – "The Gospels" from Drive Thru History®.  And I'm dancing on the ceiling over this one!!!


Not a Typical Anything.....

 This Boy and his Dog are so precious!!!  Homer has been so amazing for not just Kaden, but our whole Family.  No matter how overwhelmed Kaden gets a snuggle from Homer changes his mood.  

When Homer does the Pressure command he gives Kaden just enough pressure from his weight being placed either across his back or legs.  This allows Kaden to come back in the room sort of.  Before this he would beat himself in the face and head either with his hands or by ramming the walls.  Kaden feels pain differently then typical children.  When he feels overwhelmed he goes into fight or flight....both are dangerous.  Having Homer helps his episodes to where 70% of the time they are under an hour long.  Since we have added medication he has improved even more.  It's a process, not just one change can happen and everything be typical.  Our lives will never be typical....I get that and accept it.  But, I do want his life to be as enjoyable and as safe as possible.  My Boy is Awesome!!!


Daily Bible Jigsaw ~ REVIEW

If you see me on my phone and I'm not talking, I'm usually on Instagram.  I don't play games on my phone accept the occasional Sudoku game.  And even that is limited because I'm conserving Brain Cells.... Honestly, this is the truth.  I'm either homeschooling, reading, crafting or recovering from a recent meltdown, so I look for calming relaxing things to do in my free time.  Which is why you will never see me hitting my head against a wall trying to rack up points or pacing the floor waiting to gain more lives through friend requests.  Yeah, not my thing!  But, what could be my thing is combining 1 of my favorite things to do around the Holidays....Jigsaw Puzzles and wrap Scripture around it and that could be a winner Friends! 

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2017%20Homeschool%20Review%20Crew/04%20-%20April/25%20-%20Planet%20316/screenshot_04_zpsk7o8qmrg.pngMy Next Review is just that.....a great mixture between them both it's called Daily Bible Jigsaw from Planet 316Planet 316 has many games for both your phone and computer....I'll admit I have my eye on another one of their games right now too.  Daily Bible Jigsaw can be played directly through your Facebook which is fun to compete with friends to see who is the fastest.  But, you can also just download it Free to your Android or IOS.  I have hooked it up to my Facebook account, but I'm a loaner, I'm not in it to compete so I play solely on my iPhone.

Book Review for SheSpeaks

The NightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have never been one to read Historical Fiction. I'm more of a Chick Lit kind of a girl. But, as I age my preferences have changed slightly. :) And even though this book wouldn't have been my 1st choice for a Historical Fiction to read, I have always felt a kinship with the WWII Era. So, I was eager to start reading as soon as soon as it arrived. Unlike others who enjoy and read this type of book all the time, I have nothing to compare to it really. But, I do have some knowledge of the time period. This simple story of two Sisters, their Family, the struggle, sacrifices and their hardships mixed with triumphs, hope and desires to survive this war.
It was interesting to see the lives of this Family alongside the terror of the war that was going on at the time. I haven't read a book with this type of perspective before, The French Women during the War. It was insightful and has opened me up to learning more . Reading always opens windows and doors to knew things, ideas and destinations. This was a great book that did all that for me, I'm no expert in this genre, but I read it from beginning to end and enjoyed, looking forward to reading more of her work. This would be a great book to start with if you want to experience a little Historical Fiction.
*I received this Book for free from SheSpeaks.

View all my reviews


Propagating Succulents

It's almost May....I love May.  And not just because it's my Birthday month, but because the weather is perfect, the flowers are popping out all over and the breeze is sweetened with the sounds of summertime.  I have grown to appreciate nature more and more and I know this summer is going to be filled with long camp trips, nature walks and picnics of all kinds.  
Recently I have been propagating Succulents and loving my results.  I never knew that this was a thing, luckily I found out when I did, because my Succulents were out of control tall or what you would call a leggy plant.


SpeedyPrep ~ REVIEW

I can't believe I'm saying this, but Mahala will graduate next year.  So, what does that mean?  One more kiddo goes to college..... sounds like crazy talk, but it's not.  And we need to get prepared as soon as possible.  Part of that prep is racking up as many college credits as she can.  And thankfully my next Review from SpeedyPrep has given Mahala 6 months access to earn College credit from home. Have you ever heard of taking CLEP testing before?  I had in the past, but I didn't realize how obtainable it was from home to be able to offer it as an option to my kiddos.  I would have loved to use this option for Skylar, it would have saved a few bucks! :)  When you pass the CLEP test on whatever subject you decide you then can earn college credit for it.  There are many subjects to chose from and that means more money in your pocket in the end.  The CLEP test is under $100 and most college courses will cost anywhere from $150+ per credit and most classes are 2-3 credits.


So, what is this magical SpeedyPrep I talk of?  Well, it's basically an online Mecca of College Level study materials to better prepare you for taking the CLEP Test.  They even offer a whopping 100% guarantee of passing it if you successfully finish at least 90% of the program.  That's pretty amazing, who wouldn't try it with that kind of assurance?  Once you sign up for the program you have access to 24 courses.  You just pick one and start, it's very simple and easy to navigate.  Honestly, my very first thought was....how could it be this easy????  I thought I was missing something, but, it's just easy to navigate.  The layout for the materials is a basic fill in the blank format, like a flashcard.  You can watch a short overall video of whatever section you are currently in and then start answering the questions.  You do not have to know the answers from the start...that is why you are taking this course....to learn.  You will be surprised at first you may know a few of the answers.  But, the ones you don't know after submitting your guess you will not only receive the correct answer, but an explanation for why.  This was my Favorite part of the program.  It was like having a thorough conversation with a well educated tutor.

The approach to learning is Mastery based, so you will see the same question multiple times.  The more you see that right answer the more concrete it will become in your mind.  This is so right up my youngest kiddos alley, but Mahala struggled with it.  I think the review period time frame stressed her out a little.  But, I have assured her that we have 6 glorious months to do this and she is excited to be able to take her time and learn as much as she can from SpeedyPrep.  Another gold nugget with this program is the tracking.    The convenient progress screen keeps track of your mastery of your Mastery in your subject choice.  Once you hit 90% mastery it's CLEP taking time!  If you have any questions you can head to their FAQ page and I'm sure you will find it there, but if not they offer very friendly Customer Service.

So, what did we think?  Well, I think it's an asset to anyone who plans to go to college.  Even if you want to learn a particular subject without taking the CLEP, that's fine too.  Honestly, I'm thinking of doing a little learning myself, because you get access to all of the courses.  And I'm interested in some of the courses that Mahala isn't doing.  I highly recommend SpeedyPrep and I look forward to seeing the results of Mahala's CLEP tests this Summer.  Be sure to Connect with them this week through Social Media!
Crew Disclaimer
College Level Examination Program Preparation {SpeedyPrep Reviews}


Easter Prep 2017

We didn't do much this year for Easter besides decorating eggs, egg hunt, our Scripture egg reading and of course family dinner.  This year we did the dying the night before Easter, we just did regular food coloring and vinegar and a pan of cool whip with food coloring dripped on top of it.  We were pleasantly surprised with the outcome of that...like a light tie dye look.  
Skylar had to work, so he missed out on it.  Our first year without the whole family, it's times like today that I'm reminded he's married and starting a family of his own. 

We decided this year not to go to service.  Kaden is now in an older class filled with 3 grade levels.  Since the swap in September we have only been back to church 2 times.  He has to come into service with us and it's just too much for him right now.  So, instead we watch on tv...thankfully our church has recordings and a live feed.  I'm hoping that this Summer we can get him back in the special needs program, I'm just not sure how that will work now that he's in the bigger group.  Fingers crossed!

For Easter baskets I filled them with things to do and create.  I only gave Mahala and Kaden a chocolate bunny and a few pieces of candy each.  I've been trying to pull away from all the candy giving with all the Holidays.  Even the egg hunt was done with mostly empty eggs.  I bought a box of little packets of gold fish crackers, mini oreos and nutter-butters that they could trade in after the hunt.  Ten eggs for one little bag.  They were thrilled!!!  It was like hitting the lottery on this one!!!  We had a Blessed day celebrating the Living God who has Risen.  So very thankful for our Jesus who loved us all first before we even existed.


Color My Conversation ~ REVIEW


My sweet boy Kaden was officially diagnosed with Autism at 4 years old.  We did about 3 years of ABA therapy for 40 hours each week.  He was so very intelligent, yet opted to use unrelated words and sounds to communicate with family.  With friends or strangers he just ran and would hide under or behind things.  Now he is 10 years old and still reverts to unrelated words and sounds when he is overwhelmed, silly or feels like his safety bubble is compromised.  We have just learned to deal with it.  For example the word "Ham" means many things in our house.  It's his favorite meat, but he may also use it to say goodnight or to ask for water.  With strangers, like the cashier at the grocery store he will not engage at all.  And if they say hello, thank you or would you like to hold your pack of gum.  He will not respond and most likely duck down behind the counter.  In other situations like at a church event if someone sat down and asked him a question regarding something he is passionate about he would cautiously converse with or without stimming.  But, not many people come up to him talking about things Kaden is passionate about.  I know he needs to work on the skill of conversation, but I don't want him to spend anymore time in therapy.  He has cried and begged me for no more.  So, we have been socializing him a little more here and there.  Trying to get him out there...which believe me it is Not easy!! :)  I was jumping for joy when I found out about Reviewing Color My Conversations from Northern Speech Services.  I spent a lot of time looking through their website and was a little overwhelmed at all they have to offer.  It is mainly designed or set up for professional speech therapist or teachers.  But, after receiving the CMC Kit I was pleasantly surprised.


Java Programming with CompuScholar, Inc. ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2017%20Homeschool%20Review%20Crew/04%20-%20April/10%20-%20%20CompuScholar%20Inc/Computer%20Science_zpszqra0usj.pngIt's no secret Kaden is on the computer 24/7...okay maybe realistically 16/7, but it's not all game play.  He loves to code, build scenes replicating times in history and has a sincere fascination with making spread sheets for anything and everything.  Recently we have been using the Java Programing course with CompuScholar, Inc. with Kaden only.  I actually did a review for them a long time ago when they were known as Homeschool Programming and really loved using it with my oldest and even Kaden at the time.  Funny thing is that our printed materials are worn out from being read over and over again by Mr. Kaden.  So, we were excited to see what they had to offer now all these years later.  The course we are Reviewing is geared more for


Finding Peace in Times of Worry

If there is one thing that I am an expert at doing it is worrying.  I am a full time worrier about things that pertain to me or that come close to my bubble.  I was the 8 year old girl who would stay awake at night worrying about understanding tax forms.  My Dad would come in and try to sooth my nerves, but it wasn't until he sat down with me at the table covered in tax returns, a tax guide and a notepad that I was finally able to let go and sleep.  
Looking back now I see the cry for assurance, stability, understanding.  I knew intuitively that I was going to need to depend on me and only me.  Things weren't stable in my home...my Mother was dying a slow death, my Dad was almost 70 years old.  These were my dealt cards that I had to play with and I was determined to be ok, to be safe, to be sheltered from whatever storm was a coming my way.
Might seem a tad dramatic, but honestly that was my life.  And as a little girl I had the weight of my whole world on top of me.  And I was determined to take it all on.  How did that work for that little girl?  Well, she was crushed, abused, neglected, left for dead by the world's standards.  But, God had a different plan for that little girl, she survived.  Despite all that the devil put in her path, taxes and all she survived.
If there is one thing I have learned over the years is that worrying wont get you anywhere.  It is what it is and it will never be what it shouldn't.  God has the overall plan already mapped out, in motion and heading for resolve.  Resolve in his way, he is the writer and I am here to follow.  When I feel a worry creep in or anxiety I receive it in my heart.  Bundle it with prayer and then with all my strength I get down on my knees and toss it out to the Lord.  
Jesus, it's me.....I come at your feet today with this matter..  Swooooooosh  I meditate on him receiving it and I can almost feel his smile, his presence in and around me.  My worries and anxiety has been received and now I am free to praise him, love him and continue on my life mission that he has chosen me and only me for.  
I believe whatever obstacles, trials, misfortunes, illness or problems I'm facing in this life has been chosen to be apart of my journey.  I believe God has given me the strength, courage, the fight, the dreams, the desires and abilities that I need in order to successfully make it through.  This is why fear will not stay in my heart, worry and anxiety only briefly lingers on my mind.  God has been there so many times for me when I was in dark worry, it reminds me of the hymn, What a Friends we have in Jesus.  Oh what a sweet friendship it is....how do you deal with your anxiety and worries?  I'm praying for peace over all of you today.  God Bless


Once Upon a Time HOLY BIBLE and Storybook BIBLE ~ REVIEW

Kaden enjoys reading the Bible and we strive to read daily together.  I have grown so much as a person and a child of God the past few years.  And because of this I have found myself lost in prayer and excited to read my Bible.  But, it hasn't always been like that.  I wasn't raised to read my Bible daily or to seek out his voice in the word.  That is exactly what I try and plant in the hearts of my kiddos.  That God has comfort, answers, encouragement, wisdom and more available to you within the covers of your Bible and through prayer.


Memoria Press ~ REVIEW

I never thought I would say I enjoy learning about History, but I do.  And It's even more interesting when I find curriculum, books and activities that match our learning styles.  Recently we changed course in History I have been using The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set along with the 200 Questions About American History Set.  All of these were provided to Kaden and I by Memoria Press to review.  I've reviewed a few things from them before and I have never been disappointed.  I love that Memoria Press is a Family owned company and even though they offer products you would consider Classical Education I am able to use it successfully with my eclectic Charlotte Mason style of teaching.  


My Girl and I

I remember when I had her she literally collapsed my pelvis birthing her.  Eight months of physical therapy and traction and the only thing I have to remind me of that joyful experience besides my beautiful daughter is a clicking on my right side when the weather gets cold.  Would I do it all again?  Of course....she means the world to me.  When I was pregnant with her I worried that I would have enough love to go around.  Skylar at the time was 5 and my whole life.  But, there she was a bundle of perfectness.  My heart melted and grew bigger all at the same time. 

Now, she is 17 and we are so much alike it's a bit scary.  We can finish each-other's sentences, look at each other and know when the other is stressed, sick or needs a bowl of ice cream.  She not only is my Daughter, but a Friend.  I look forward to all the future Mom and Daughter dates, life experiences both good and not so good and moments that God has for us.

Mahala makes every Target trip fun even if we walk out with nothing.  She makes life an adventure and her laugh is hysterical and contagious.  Only Mahala can make you laugh and you don't even know why your laughing.  Even though she's a bouquet of fun she can also be serious and tackle Any project...do it right, actually even better then I had planned and smile while she's doing it.  But, that's not all...the most Beautiful part of her is her Love for God.  She radiates His Love and she doesn't even realize it.  It's beautiful to see Him work in her and I can't wait to see His plans for her future.  Thank You Lord for this Blessing in My Life....My Mahala!