Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Memories Review & Giveaway

I have been working on this review for a 3 weeks.  There is just soooo much to say about this program.  I am having a hard time condensing it into a post that can be read in a short time.  

So, put away all that scrapbook 'stuff' and get ready to see scrapbooking with 'new' eyes...

I found this great tutorial that shows many great features:

I can't even begin to tell you how much you can do on this digital scrapbooking software....if you like to scrapbook, then you will LOVE this software. It's scrapbooking on steroids. 

You can make a beautiful scrapbook an interactive memory experience for anyone who sees it. Use simple one-click options to enhance your scrapbooks, with music, narration, video, and even the Internet. Go beyond pictures by showing off video of the birthday party, or record a narration to capture the memories that pictures alone cannot. With My Memories Suite you simply don't look at a scrapbook-you experience it!

I'd love to show you what I have been working on BUT, alas, I cannot figure out how to get a pic onto the blog....technically challenged, YET even I can use this software ;)  Yup, it's THAT easy once you start clicking around and playing with it....there's a lot to discover.

Now I have 2 offers for you:

1. Can't wait and want to purchase your own copy RIGHT NOW???

Use this code:  

to receive $10 off the purchase price of  the newest version of My Memories Suite Scrapbook software,  You can buy it as an instant download OR a mailed CD.  Plus this code will give you another $10.00 off the purchase of any other item at the online store.  There is a wide variety of items to choose.

2.  My Memories is offering a giveaway.  One winner will receive a code to download the software for free!  Please enter below:  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Making Home School a part of LIFE

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

As with most home schoolers when I began over 20 years ago I thought I had to do it all.....just like 'regular' school.  We bought the desks, set up calendars, hung posters  and purchased a complete curriculum. I thought this is what I was 'supposed' to do.

For me, this only brought frustration, especially as more children came. The 2nd child didn't work well with this 'complete curriculum' I had purchased.  Why wasn't this working the way it did when I was in school.....every student learned exactly the same way, no adjusting because someone else learns differently.   I dreaded getting out of bed because we HAD to school.  What I thought was going to be a great experience, turned into just adding another 'chore' to accomplish each day. I thought Time passes and mom/teacher gets totally worn out.  More kids come, more planning, more, more, more....I can't DO ANY MORE!

Basically I had brought school home,
 I wasn't HOME schooling.

I discovered that each child learns differently.  The curriculum that works with one may very well flop with another.  Yearly adjustments are necessary.  So I researched, bought books, tried them, failed, sold them, bought some more until I found what worked best for US!  What worked best for each one of my children.  I found out years later that this is called 'eclectic homeschooling'.  Using a variety of curriculum to fit your student's needs.

After years of trying to figure it all out for myself (poor kids) I finally decided that if my children left my 'school' with these basic ideas, then we were successful:

Make God #1 in their lives

Learn HOW to learn

Know where to find the information on the subject you wish to learn about

Twenty years have passed  Four of my children have graduated. All four are living productive lives beyond our home.  Each one has taken what they learned under my roof all those years and are now living it. Each one has taken the basic ideas and made them their own.  We have been successful !!

The ONLY thing I can think of at the moment that I would do differently is for mom/teacher to ENJOY the time more.  Rather than looking at the education of my children as another 'thing' I had to do, I would embrace it, enjoy it, and love EVERY minute.  Yes, even the bad days...because all too soon you'll be wishing even for one bad school day.....JUST so you could have them all home again.

Read what other homeschoolers have to say about the "nuts & bolts" of their homeschool

Weekly Homeschooling Schedule by Julie @ HighHill Homeschool

Virtual Curriculum Fair: Week 5: The Nuts & Bolts: Pulling it all
Together by Leah @ The Courtney Six Homeschool

Our Schedule's Working! by Eunora @ All Things NoriLynn

Homeschooling:  How do I do it all? by Debbie @ Debbie's Digest

Virtual Curriculum Fair--- Wrap-up Angie @ Petra School

Virtual Curriculum Fair: 5 Ways to Use an iPad in Your Homeschool by
Pam @ Everyday Snapshots

A Peek Into Our School Day by Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool

A Day in the Life... by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun

Homeschool and Life: How we get it done by Jen @ Forever, For Always,
No Matter What

Homeschooling at My House by Jessica @ Modest Mama

Getting a Grip on Things by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Making Home School a part of LIFE by Cindy @ For One Another

Now Where's That Pencil Again? by Beth @ Ozark Ramblings

Something About Homeschooling I Really Didn't See Coming by Letha @

Curriculum, Kids, and a Frazzled Homeschool Mama leads to Controlled
Chaos! by Laura O from AK @ Day by Day in Our World

The Virtual Curriculum Fair – Nuts and Bolts by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

Staying on Top of Everything by Brenda Emmett @ Garden of Learning

How Does This Homeschooling Thing Actually Work? Fitting it all
Together by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Nuts & Bolts: Pulling it all together by Christa Darr @ Fairfield Corner Academy

    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    2012 Contentment Reading Challenge

    I came across this blog Legacy of a Writer by Katie McCurdy.  

    She has laid down a challenge to readers everywhere (or maybe just readers who cross her path via her blog).  Not one to shy away from challenges, especially ones that I feel I can be successful with, I decided to join up, jump in, make a go of it, sign some reading.

    Here's Katie's challenge:

    What is the Contentment Reading Challenge? Well, it's based on the idea that we, as avid readers, have many books scattered around our homes--on shelves, in the closet, under the bed, etc.--that we hope to read again "some day", but have not made the time to do so. Or maybe you are continually purchasing new books and never take the time to be content with the ones that are currently on your bookshelf. 

    - This IS a challenge, so there has to be some goals/levels to set. There's no pressure--just choose whatever level you think would be good for you to try and accomplish in this coming year.

                * Floating: Skimming the surface, you re-read 5 books you already own.
                * Wading: Getting your feet wet, you re-read 10 books you already own.
                * Swimming: Immersing yourself again, you re-read 15 books you already own.
                * Diving: Going deep into the stories you love, you re-read 20 or more books that you already own.

    - This challenge officially starts on January 1st, 2012 and officially ends on December 21st, 2012. 

    Well, Katie, (and whoever else cares or is reading this post) I have decided to begin by wading with the possibility of diving in head first for a swim depending on how brave I am after wading a while!

    My first book has been taken off of my overflowing book shelf, dusted  and enjoyed in 2 days...

    "Critical Care" by Candace Calvert.  Book 1 in her Mercy Hospital Series.  

    That's one book down and 9 OR 14 to go.   With 340 days left in this challenge,  at this rate I'll be able to read 170 books in 2012....

    that's more than wading or swimming

    that's drowning!

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    Follow Friday Four Fill In Fun

    This week’s statements:

    1. Nothing is better than.____
    2. I ___my ___ in ___but never ____
    3. Those _____ that are always _____ make me want to ___________
    4. My favorite _________________ is when __________________________.

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Week At a Glance 32

    January 14 -20

    Trying to keep up with this every week shows what an uneventful life I really do have :)

    Not much exciting happened this week.  I was involved in the usual, cleaning, blogging, reading, sleeping, almost cutting off my thumb (well, thankfully, that's not 'usual') 
    So here's the story:  I have a part-time job as a merchandiser.  This is basically just someone who goes into a retail store and sets up displays, or stocks new items, or just whatever is assigned.  This week I had to set up a  spinning accessory display.  I was having a very difficult time taking apart the existing display (which was perfectly fine, didn't need replacing).  As I was pulling, banging and prying with one  hand and holding the pieces in place so they didn't crash on the floor with the other, one metal piece decides to quickly dislodge on one end and swivel down and close onto my thumb....OUCH!  If it was a little sharper, or a bit heavier, I would have severed my thumb.  Being the brave, diligent worker I am, I continued fighting with said display while I bled all over it.  I'm glad to report that even though I lost a couple of battles and bit of blood, I won the war and the display is completed. 

    Other than that exciting story, the rest of the week was spent in a sea of emotion.  Stupid hormones!
    Click here to read about one of my emotional days.

    Oh yea, I almost forgot to share with you my latest quilting project.  
    A black and white quilt:

    Now I can move onto my mom's Remembrance Quilt made from my dad's flannel shirts.  I'm thinking this one will not help with the emotional mess I've been lately :/

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Follow Friday Four Fill In Fun


    This week’s statements:
    1. I used to enjoy ______ but now I don’t really anymore except for when I____
    2. My first job was ______
    3. I am a bit obsessed with ________ at the moment
    4. If I don’t have my ___________ at night, I don’t sleep well

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Wednesday's Hodgepodge on Thursday ;)

    1. A new Miss America was crowned on Saturday night-did you watch? If you were a contestant what would your talent be?

    NO, I would much rather watch FOOTBALL!!!  Not only would I never be a Miss American contestant, I would also  never play football ;)

    2. Do you have houseplants? Real or fake
    Let's put it this way....if the plant wishes to live, then it doesn't want me to care for it.  BUT I do actually have 3 plants that have lived for longer than one month:  an aloe (can't kill those), a new Christmas cactus (must not be able to  kill that one either cuz I've been trying since November) and some kind of a leafy thing that I don't know what it is, but it was given to my dad while at the hospital so I am trying to stay away from it so it stays alive.

    Yes, that's me ;)

    3. When you were in school did you speak up or were you more of the hide your face, avoid eye contact, and pray the teacher didn't call on you type of student?
    Well, let's decide.  More than once I had a letter sent home from the teacher praising what a great student I was, but I talked too much AND I was voted class clown my senior year....

    4. Next Monday marks the Chinese New Year....what do you order when someone suggests Chinese food?
    I order myself to another restaurant....I don't like Chinese food.

    5. How would you define a miracle? What would it take for you to consider something a miracle?
    A miracle is something that only God does.  Create life, provide needs, give health....

    6. What's your favorite Disney song? If you're stuck you'll find a list here.
    Disney is not a favorite of mine, don't like it much at all....BUT there probably is a song I like and don't even know it is a Disney song

    7. I should have __________yesterday.
    Read my Bible.  I am part of a group of ladies who are reading through Ephesians, but I didn't read or share yesterday because I left my house early and got home late.  

    8. Insert your own random thought here.
    There are things about menopause that I hate, yet other things I like.  AND I can't believe that I am old enough to even know the difference.

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    GrapeVine Timelines review & giveaway

    Wow, this is really good....

    was my initial reaction when I was looking over the copies of the timelines created by GrapeVine for both the Old and New Testaments.  

    There are 2 styles to choose from:
    These come in downloadable and printed formats in both Old and New Testaments and even blank timelines.
    When completed they are each 10 feet long.
    A great way to decorate your room with a overview of God's Word!

    Also in downloadable and printed formats in both Old and New Testament.
    This is my preferred style ;)

    Whichever style you choose, both provide a complete overview using simple-to-draw stick figures. 

    The Old Testament format has 2 'special' symbols to explain the gospel and how it is shown throughout the Old Testament.  I LOVE THIS!!
    A third symbol to show the gospel is introduced in the New Testament timeline.  

    This is a great way to study the Bible chronologically.  A great tool while reading through a Chronological Bible.  My daughter and I are doing a survey of the Bible.  I have  incorporated the booklet style into that study.  It is much more visually appealing than simply a fill-in-the-blank workbook.  And much more fun too!

    Here are our first 6 pages:  (can you find the special 'gospel' symbols?)

    These are all sold for under $10.00 each.  BUT the month of January they are on sale!  I recommend you get on over to GrapeVine Studies and order some.  

    I can even offer you a coupon code for free shipping on the printed format.  This is a GREAT savings....NO SHIPPING, NO PRINTING, NO 3-HOLE PUNCHING necessary...It will come to your door ready to use!  
      Use this code


    Now for the giveaway...oh yes, A GIVEAWAY.

    Dianna at GrapeVine Studies is offering one reader a Teacher and Student wall timeline in your choice of e-book or printed copy.  Giveaway ends 1/29/12 at midnight EST.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Never Too Old to Play Tag!!!!!

    Since I began blogging I have met some very interesting people.  People I never would have crossed paths with either because of location or just life situations.  Blogging has changed the rules.....and this is a GOOD thing.

    One person with whom I have 'met' is Pam @ Empty Nest and she has 'tagged' I guess I'm IT

    The rules are:

    1. Post these rules.
    2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
    3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
    ( I shortened the 'rules')

    11 is such an odd number, but here goes....

    11 random things about myself:

    1.  I have home schooled 4 of my children all the way through high school.  That has taken 20 years. I have one left and we only have 4 more years to go :/

    2.  I live in a log house (cabin is definitely NOT the word to describe this place!)


    4.  I was an MPK  (missionary/pastor's kid)

    5.  Because of #4 I had rebellious teenage years which I am NOT proud of

    6.  Thankfully, even though #5 is very true, I have a loving, forgiving God who gave His Son as a ransom for me :)

    7.  I'm not all that into music, never was.  

    8.  I wish I kept up with my piano playing...then #7 would be different, I'm sure 

    9.  I spend WAY too much time on the computer, but I do enjoy it very much ;)

    10. I DO have a brain and have pictures and a doctor's visual of this brain to prove it

    11. I was once referred to as "one of the guys" and took it as a compliment!

    Here are the 11 questions, with my answers from Pam:
    1. I am currently on a weight loss journey. What is your current journey?  Deep question....I guess my journey is to allow God to lead my life and stop having to be in control of everything, all of the time!
    2. Do you fear change, welcome it or do you simply not think about it?  I'd have to say it would depend on the situation.  For instance, changing the arrangement of furniture in a given room is a welcome change.  Yet, I fear the change when I no longer have kids at home and homeschooling is a part of my I try not to think about it
    3. How's your patience level?  Again, this depends on WHO I am to have patience with.....
    4. Do you journal? Why or why not.  I sorta consider this blog my journal
    5. Do you have pets? If so, do you spoil them?  NO pests...I  mean pets!  I am not an animal person whatsoever
    6. Do you prefer a quiet night at home or a night out on the town?  Either, depends on my mood.
    7. What is the last movie you saw at the theater?  Let me ask my daughter....."Hey.Julie-bug, what was the last movie I saw in a theater?"  "Uhhhh, I have no idea".  Well, there you go....I have no idea 
    8. Do you like sports? If so, what's your favorite?  Playing or watching????  I've always enjoyed playing softball, tennis and others, but am not very good at any.  Watching...only football.
    9. Will you watch the Super Bowl this year? Most likely
    10. Did your team (if you have one) make it to the playoffs?  Oh YEA!!!!  GO PATS!!!
    11. What about March Madness? Will you be filling out a bracket this year?  Nope, basketball is not one I enjoy to watch OR play....unless someone I know is playing.  Then I will watch, yell, scream, embarrass them all night long ;)

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Math Anyone?

    Let's talk Math!

    Some kids have a mind for math, others, not so  much!  When you have a child who doesn't really 'get' math, it makes it very hard to find a curriculum that really works. 

    As with most homeschoolers, I started with Saxon.  It was THE math program when homeschooling was new to me.   I liked the spiral method and used this curriculum for many years.  Then I hit algebra!  UGH!!  When I was in high school I did very well with Algebra 1, but Algebra 2, not so  much.  I attribute the understanding of Algebra with the teacher.  I had a fantastic Algebra 1 teacher but the Algebra 2 teacher understood it well enough, but couldn't TEACH it.  I fell under the category of 'couldn't TEACH' it.  SO when it came time for Algebra we used Key To.  This has worked very well for us.  It introduces algebraic concepts without delving into it too far.  

    I didn't have math lovers..I knew not one of my children was going to need further math so I concerned myself more with everyday math:  checkbooks, budgeting, insurance, saving, even some accounting.  The REAL LIFE stuff!  

    My husband and I took a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class online.  We followed Dave's game plan and were able to become debt free.  It took a lot of sacrifices, but we did it!  We decided that our children HAD to learn to manage their money the Dave Ramsey way.  

    When he came out with a high school math course, I was thrilled and immediately bought it!  

    This is what is our high school math is a MUST in our home school.   
    Here are other blogs with ideas for math:

    Math Lapbooks---Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2 by Angie Wright @ Petra
    School -

    Virtual Curriculum Fair Week Two: Discover Patterns, Mathematics,
    Logic and Some Science by Leah @ The Courtney Six Homeschool

    Our Choices For Math by Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool

    A Magnificent Math Manipulative by Letha Paulk @ justpitchingmytent

    Our Math Choices - Virtual Curriculum Fair by Tristan @ Our Busy Homeschool

    Math Using Hamburger Paper by Debbie @ Debbie's Digest

    Math Literature?!?! by Christine @ Crunchy Country Catholic

    Learning Math at My House by Jessica @ Modest Mama

    1st, 2nd, 6th Grade Math in Our Homeschool:  How We Got HERE by Susan
    @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

    Math Facts or Fun?  Why Not Both! by Beth @ Ozark Ramblings

    Heart of Dakota- The Fine Details- Part 2 Science by Lynn @ Ladybug

    Learning Math Block by Block by Laura O in AK @ Day by Day in Our

    Plugging Along with Math by Cindy Horton @ Fenced in Family

    What's Working and What's Not:  Math Edition by Leann @ Montessori Tidbits

    Math Anyone? by Cindy @ For One Another

    Ahh, Math. by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun

    Flying Without a Parachute: Math with no Curriculum by Pam @ Everyday

    Math in Our Homeschool by Christine T @ Our Homeschool Reviews

    Math, Math, and More Math by Dawn @ tractors & tire swings

    Thinking Mathematically- How I Choose Math Curriculum by Kristen @
    Sunrise to Sunset

    Discovering Patterns:  Math, Logic, and Some Science by Christa Darr @
    Fairfield Corner Academy

    The Science of Math by Brenda Emmett @ Garden of Learning

    "Mom, did we do math today?" by Chrissy at Learning is an Adventure

    Math, Math, and More Math by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory