Tuesday, February 26, 2013

When You Just Need a Laugh

Sometimes when things are crazy busy and you feel like you are meeting yourself coming and going you just need a good laugh.  Well, I can always count on Evan to give me just that.  The only thing is he doesn't realize just how funny he is!!!!  That's one reason I love to keep him around.

When he looked at this picture he say, "I look awesome!!!" 

Thanks, Evan, I really needed that!!!!

TOS Review College Common Sense

College Common Senseis a great resource for family whose children are considering college whether they are in high school or younger. It is recommended that it is used with younger children as well as the older ones.  Denise C. Ames a Financial Aid Consultant has a wealth of information that she wantsto share with families to help this process go smoothly.

My family had accessto Going to College and Paying for It Online video and workbook, this is a 12 month log-in access for only$25.  You can also order her DVD andWorkbook set for $50 + $5 shipping. 
I am a newbie to this college thing, never going myself, so any help I could get to help my children is greatly appreciated.  It is a crazy maze out there and I needed some good instruction for what my children need to be doing.

How we used College Common Sense:
We, my junior, freshman, and 6th grader sat down, printed out the workbook pages and watched the videos.  Once through the first video we discussed things about their future, what they want to do and how we should go about getting things done.  We filled out the College Worksheet and made an appointment with our local community college.  We continued to watch the next video and work on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  We then continued through some of the free lesson plans we had signed up for and have begun working on the Scholarship binder.

What I thought about College Common Sense:
This is a great resource to help get started thinking about what to do after graduation.  It did get us to make the appointment with an adviser at the community college.  That was the best meeting and has really helped the kids make a plan for what they plan on doing in the future.  It helped them see what they needed to do to be prepared for college and their future.  You can use this as much or as little as you want.  Most of the college information geared toward colleges that are away from home, but for  these three of my children they are all staying home to go to school.  She explains how school assign monies and how you work through that process.  I do feel that this program isn't something you need to use as a daily activity for your family.  Once your children are ready to start this process (I would say middle school) I think it is something you work on every now and then.  It is a wealth of information, but a little overwhelming for younger children.  I do like that it is directed for the student to do the work and research.  I do think they should take the lead with the information we have to plan for their future. I do recommend signing up for the free lesson plans on College Common Sense website.

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Week in Pictures: February 17-23, 2013

Week 5
 February 17-23, 2013

We attended the ground breaking for the satialite church SECC is bringing to our neighborhood!!

Tuesday: Grocery day!!

Wednesday: 22 years of Derby glasses given to me from my Father-in-law each Mother's Day

Evan's Valentines Day gift I forgot about.

Received an Edible Arrangement from some great friends.  Yummy.

Went to a fun paint party at my sister-in-law's house. Such fun.  First item for the new kitchen.

Saturday: NASCAR time. Tony wins, but scary wreck! Hope everyone is ok.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

TOS Review: A+ Multi-Sensory Interactive MATH

Do your children love to play on the computer?  Do you need or want help with their math instruction?  How would you like to combine both of these things?  Well, I have the very thing you need.
 A+ Tudorsoft, Inc. We are using the First Grade A+ Interactive Math Online Homeschool Edition and my first grader absolutely  loves working on this. He gets to use the computer everyday for an interactive math lesson.

How we used A+ Interactive 1st Grade Math:
The set up online is very easy to follow.  The lesson plans are easy to use and a great asset for the product.  My son did all his lessons online, but you can also print out the e-book for the lessons.  The lessons are short and very easy for him to understand.  Once he is finished watching the lesson he can either choose to do the worksheet online or the more traditional way with pen and paper by printing it out.  He did most of his online, but sometimes to reinforce the concept he would do it on paper as well.  There are reference sheets that can be printed out to help with the lessons; number lines, place value, cardinal numbers, even/odd, etc. 

As a parent you can keep track of their progress online too.  You can adjust the settings that work best for you and your student.  There are Certificate of Accomplishments that can be printed out for each week to encourage your student.  

What I thought about A+ TutorSoft
I love the format and it is easy to use.  Like that my son is getting a math lesson everyday and understanding the concepts for the most part.  I wish that they had some review from previous lessons on each worksheet.  Once the concept is taught they don't cover it again until they take the exam. Some of the concepts are a little harder to understand then others so some review would be helpful.  Each lessons worksheet will have a multiple choice question and they are hard for my first grader to understand.  He is starting to get it now.  We have covered the first two chapters.  I do recommend this multi-sensory interactive math curriculum..  It is a great product and is working well for our homeschooling family.

What my First Grader things about A+ TutorSoft
He loves it!!!!  He is excited to get on the computer and work through his lessons.  Enjoys signing on himself and getting it started.  He usually chooses to do the worksheet online, but has done some of the more confusing or harder lessons on paper.  He is excited to be learning some new things and thinks doing it on the computer makes him one of the "Big Kids." 

You can pick the A+ Interactive MATH Online Homeschool Edition  or the CD Software The offer 1st grade through Algebra 1.  The 1st Grade Math, A+ Interactive MATH - Home School Edition  is $19.95/Month, $49.99/Quarter or $124.99/Year.   

As a special promotion for TOS Review Crew readers A+TutorSoft, Inc. you is giving you 50% off through the end of March, just use this code, SPOFFER50


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Handwriting at Your Fingertips, with HWT iPad app

When I say handwriting at your fingertips that's exactly what I mean. Wet-Dry-Try is a wonderful supplementary teaching tool from the renown company, Handwriting Without Tears.  It has been a wonderful addition to my first grader's education.  The Wet-Dry-Try iPad App uses the slate chalkboard activity for iPad or Android users.  For only $4.99 your 4 to 8 year old can work anywhere at mastering writing capital letters and numbers.

With this great supplement to HWT's hands-on material your child will learn the proper way to write capital letters and numbers. You can choose how your child goes about using the app.  With the "challenging" or "easier" options you can choose which level your student should start working on. The "easier" setting gives the child more "room for err."  This setting is great for younger students just learning their capital letters and developing their fine motor skills. The "challenging" setting requires better fine motor skills.  Each letter has three star levels, with level 1 being the easiest allowing for more leniency to level 3 where the student needs to be extremely accurate. 
You child can either work on the letters in ABC order or by HWT's winning order (Frog jump, Starting Corner, or Center starting capital letter).  With easy vocal instructions, background music and sound effects it gives your child the feel he is playing a game all while working on mastering his handwriting.

Everyday my son would ASK to do his handwriting.  That had never happened before.  He would do a few letters everyday working to get three stars for each letter. Once he gets the three stars he receives the Letter Card, which he is very excited about!!  The activities on the iPad have transfered to his written work. When he is writing his letters he will repeat the instructions.  He has improved his handwriting, remembering to begin his letters at the top of the page and learning the correct direction of the numbers.

I love this app and really hope that they release one with the lower case letters too!

Great job Handwriting Without Tears!!!


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Hoping to Encourage You

It never fails, EVERY school day someone says, "I don't like ____________________!"(insert any subject you want.).  It is so frustrating when they do this.  Don't they know how hard I work picking out curriculum, doing their lesson plans and grading their papers?  I can be a bit defeating when I hear them complain.

I do ALWAYS correct them with, "This is the job God has for you." or "This is one thing God wants from you."  I guess I'm trying to take the pressure off myself and put it one someone else.

Well, this morning it was like a smack in the face.  As I sat and listen to my daughter say, "I don't like any of my subjects," I thought this is exactly what God heard from me this morning before my feet even hit the floor, "I don't like teaching school" I have also thought "I don't like doing lesson plans." or "I don't like being responsible for their education"  Isn't this what God has for ME to do?  Isn't this what he wants from me?  Isn't this what he has called me to, placed on my heart???  The answer is yes!!!

Sometimes I think my kids needs an attitude adjustment, but I think God thinks the same thing about me.  I can hear him say, "Hey, this is what you have been called to do, this is what I WANT YOU TO DO."

As homeschool moms we always could use a little encouragement.  Let me try and be that for you today.  It is hard at times, but very rewarding.

The things that keep me going:
 "For where your treasure is, therefore your heart will be also."                Matthew 6:21

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your heart.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:5-9

The time I get to spend with my kids is priceless.
Knowing that God's hand is on this, crazy endeavor. 
Watching my children learn something new.
Seeing  my 7 year old's excitement when he gets to learn about animals.
Knowing my kids friends. 
2 week family vacations to the beach in October!
Working in God's Plan for my family.
Knowing that we are almost 9 years down and ONLY 11 years to go.  Almost half way there!!  LOL

I hope the confession of a humbled homeschool Mama help you when you are questioning your calling!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Week in Pictures: February 10-16, 2013

Week 4
February 10-16, 2013

Sunday: After 9+ hours at the funeral home Tyler sends time playing his games.
Monday: Was the funeral for Steve's dad, these flowers were from our church. The roses were from the flowers on the casket.

Wednesday:  No picture???

Thursday: Happy Valentines Day!!!
Treats for the kids.
Heart-shaped pizza with the kids!

Friday:  Last home game for the girls.  THEY WON!!! Coach Susan above and Coach Rona below.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

Today I am blessed with the Valentine that God chose for me! We are a perfect fit! After 24 years together I still want to spend every moment with him. I'm feeling overwhelmed by the love I feel for him.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:22-24

"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:33

He inspires me to want to be better, to be this...
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:10:31

Happy Valentines Day

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Week in Pictures, February 3-9, 2013

Week 3
February 3-9, 2013

My usual Sunday night, Lesson Plans for 5!!

We had a trip to the dentist for Evan to fix a filling that came out.  Now he has a silver tooth. 

Lots of Algebra, UGH!!!

Wednesday and Thursday:
These days were days with out pictures.  So, we will just share a picture of Pappaw with his granddaughters.
Frank H. Britt

Sam and I spent the evening hemming hers and Caroline's pants for the funeral.  They aren't perfect, but the will get us through Monday.

Jack getting ready for bed, I was teasing him he was wearing leggings.  These are his long underwear.  LOL

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Legacy of a Great Man

My Father-in-law is dancing on Streets of Gold today!!!  He went home to be with The Lord early Thursday morning.  He has been sitting at the feet of Jesus with his son Roger, who died in 1988; his Mother and Father and all those who have gone before him.  This is what he worked his whole life for.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths  and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matthew 6:19-21

The legacy that he left is huge.

 Frank and Lavern Britt had five children, four sons and one daughter.  They have given them 17 grandchildren, 13 grandsons and 4 granddaughters; from seven of those grandchildren they have 16 great grandkids, 13 great grandsons and 3 great granddaughters. That is amazing!!!  That is what I dream of having.  That legacy in itself is grand, but what he left because of his love of God, hard work and love of his family is what we all strive for. I have been truly blessed to be just a little part of his legacy. I have the honor of being married to a man who learned from his dad how to be a great husband and father.

I pray that we can instill in our children the things that made their Pappaw such a great man.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27

I'll end with what I believe he would want all of us to remember and the scripture I think describes his life best...

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:8-11

I am sure that when Pappaw knelt at the feet of Jesus this is what he heard...

“...‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’"                     Matthew 25:21

We will miss you while you're away from us, but we will see you again one day in Glory!!  We Love You!!

Frank H. Britt 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Preparing to Say Goodbye

Pappaw with his granddaughters 
Preparing to lose a loved one is never easy, but it's really hard when your children are seeing it for the first time. My father-in-law, who he is 90 years old, has been ill for the last several months. He was in and out of the hospital and a nursing home during October and November, then in December they finally sent him home. Since he has been there he has been bed ridden and having good days and bad days. Here recently there has been more bad days then good. He has been less lucid everyday. They finally have made the very hard decision to bring in Hospice.

So, how do you prepare children to see the end of their grandfather's life? I thank God that he loves The Lord and has a strong faith. I thank him for showing my children God's love through his life. I thank him for raising a wonder man of God I get to call my husband. I thanks him for loving his family more then anything else in the world. How much easier it is to let go of someone when you know you will see them again one day. So much easier!!!

God will give the children strength through this, He will let them see just a glimpse of heaven through the love of Pappaw's life.

The scripture below is what my 14 year old daughter tweeted after we talk about things this morning.

"May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant."
Psalm 119: 76
He is already at work!!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blessed by Volleyball

Homeschoolers and sports don't always go together, but sometime you have families who work really hard to make sport teams a reality for their children.  This is what we have right here, in the Kentuckiana area we are blessed to have a homeschool volleyball team.  The Heart For Christ Panthers gives homeschoolers an opportunity to play competetive volleyball and basketball.  The teams are part of the local homeschool support group Home For His Glory.

HFC Panthers have blessed my family a lot in the last couple years.  Both of my daughter play and they totally love it.  Samantha is a freshman playing for her second year and this is Caroline's first year and she is in the 6th grade.  Looking forward to many more years of volleyball...and maybe basketball once Jack is old enough.
After the game!!  They won!!!
 Samantha                        Caroline

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Week in Pictures, January 27- February 2, 2013

Week 2:
Sunday, January 27- February 2, 2013

Sunday; Home with a sick Evan! :(

Monday, beginning of remodel.

Tuesday, the boys had a class at the Louisville Zoo and I forgot to take a picture!

Wednesday;  Tyler's birthday dinner.  He grilled steaks Tuesday night and we ate them Wednesday.

Thursday night I made the kids "door valentines" for Friday morning.
Idea on Pinterest 

Friday; Tyler had his wisdom teeth out.  Doesn't look to good here.

 Saturday; we had a snow day, all morning activities canceled!!
Relaxing after a day of cleaning out cabinets and cooking potato soup!!

What a great week!!

Snow Day

Since we homeschool we don't usually get snow days, but today is our "snow day". The girls volleyball in Lawrenceburg, KY AND the little boys Upward basketball games were all canceled.
The best part is today starts Steve's off week, so will all be home together! I love my life!!