Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Apostate

(Photo credit -Amazon product picture)

Let's get started shall we?!

We've all heard the saying sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. We teach that to our children in hopes that they'll overlook any negative comments thrown at them. But is there truth to that statement? I say no. Words do hurt. Indeed they do. In Thomas Harvey's Elementary Grammar and Composition book words are defined as, " a syllable, or a combination of syllables, used in the expression of thought." So you see our words are merely our thoughts and if our thoughts are mean then our words are mean therefore words do hurt! In not just in the gut wrenching, I'm going to cry kind of way either. Some words carry so much weight with them that they lead to a battle or a decline of a nation. Apostate touches on this point extremely well. In the preface, Kevin, quotes  from Benjamin Wiker's book Ten Books That Screwed up the World and Five Others That Didn't Help. I'll share that portion with you, "...the story of the Scottish essayist, Thomas Carlyle. He "was once scolded at a dinner party for endlessly chattering about books: 'Ideas, Mr. Carlyle, ideas, nothing but ideas!' To which he replied, 'There was once a man called Rousseua who wrote a book containing nothing but ideas. The second edition was bound in the skins of those who laughed at the first.'"
Cleverly, Carlyle proves my point that words hurt.

Hop on over to my blog devoted solely to all things book related, Keeper at the Bookshelf,  to read the rest of my review. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Crafting! It's what you do!




I've been busy crafting away over in my neck of the prairie! Here's a few things I've accomplished so far. 


My notebook and pen received a make over. 


My first dress to crochet up. It's far from perfect. I made it for a dear sister in Christ who is expecting her first sweet girl here soon. 


We celebrated a birthday. I got to try my hand at some cake decorating. What do you think of the rose? 

I picked this fabric up at the thrift store. The white one is a huge, incomplete, homemade pillowcase. There's two of those. I'm going to attempt to convert them to dresses. And attempt to make a dress out of the heart material. Oh by the way, I'll have a review for a sewing curriculum soon. I'm still working my way through it. 


$3.50 for hopefully three dresses!!! 


I got tired of my husband's highlighters lying around so I decided to cover a jar  in cardstock, hot glue some buttons on, and  store them all nice and neat in one place! He likes to highlight his Bible. Each color represents a topic. 

Have a good weekend friends!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Keeper at the Homestead Tip: Onions

At least once a week we have tacos. Taco's are an easy meal, as healthy as you want them, and can feed a crowd. Now, personally, I love my tacos loaded down with onions!

 It's funny how taste buds change with time. Onions use to make me gag. In fact, I don't remember considering eating an onion, by choice, until I seen my Mamaw eating raw green onions from her garden. She talked me into taking a bite. Since then I've been hooked. I have onions on my pancakes, in my milkshakes, on everything!!!! Ok I'm joking. But I do love onions on my taco y'all!!!!

Onions contain vitamin C which helps improve immunity. They've been shown to lower cholesterol when eaten in their raw form so load your tacos down! They help regulate your blood sugar. Onions do so much more!!! I just don't have time to list all their health benefits. Unless you're eating the onion greens you don't have to buy organic onions. The bulbs are hardy and rarely, if ever, come in contact with spray.

I wanted to share a Keeper at the Homestead tip with you. After you peel your onions and right before you cut them, if you'll run them under some water for a little bit that will ease the tears of joy they force out of you. Sometimes you get a real strong onion that will cause you to cry no matter how long you run water on it. If that's the case, well, grin and bear it. Enjoy!



Saturday, July 16, 2016

What are little girls made of (Hairclip review)


I am personally not a fan of gigantic flashy hair bows. I like simple things so when I seen these bows I hesitated to get them. After studying them some more I came to the conclusion that they're simple, girly, and adorable.

They're embroidered princesses that capture the innocence of girlhood. When you're a little girl you have the whole world to look forward to exploring. No one cares if your hair is a mess, if your cheeks are windbrushed, your elbows and knees are marked with dirt, and your feet are covered in scratches because you dare not touch a pair of shoes unless it's town day.  You can run free, climb trees, tumble,and explore. It's an innocent time. As innocent as our sin filled world can be.

The stitching is excellent. I can't find a flaw. I believe these are suppose to be based on disney characters but that's not overly obvious to me so my conscience is clear. Princesses reinforce the biblical and obvious gender distinction.

The thing I dislike about this set is that there's a mermaid barrette. Mermaids are right up there with fairies in our house. Big no no's. If they don't bother you than you'll love the set. If interested in purchasing these barrettes go to amazon and search for EveShine Hair Barrettes or simply click here.

I'd like to add that these clips are versatile as seen in my picture. You can use them as cute bookmarks or even as a paper/binder clip. And a truth moment for my readers, other than these clips my girls have zero hairbows.

I recieved these at a discounted price or for free in exchange for an honest review. I recieve no commission for this and only post about products my family and I have used personally.

To end this I'd like to share a portion of the oh so famous poem, What are little boys made of.
"What are little girls made of, made of? What are littke girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice, that's what little girls are made of."



Friday, July 15, 2016

Audio Memory



(A personal touch was added to our package. I love it when people do this!! It makes mail day that much better. :))

Singing is an excellent way to remember things. I use this method to teach my children Scripture. We pick out a verse, make our own tune, sing our hearts out, and praise the Lord I can hear them singing quietly to themselves at random times throughout the day. So when I discovered Larry and Kathy Troxel's CDs I was as giddy as a school girl homeschool mom! Allow me to share my discovery with you. Larry and Kathy have put together a musical curriculum. And let me tell you the songs are catchy! You'll find yourself singing about verbs, states and their capitals, and geography just to name a few. They have  CD's that teach grammar, geography, states and capitals, multiplication, addition, etc. We'll take a closer look at the first three.

Grammar Songs by Kathy Troxel
In this "curriculum" you get a CD with 19 songs, a student workbook that includes lyrics to the songs, and a teacher answer book. My children and I listened to the first few songs, went back and repeated them while trying to sing along, and then I orally "tested" them to see if they had learned anything. My two older girls were able to tell me about verbs and even supplied a few examples. We worked through the workbook pages together. If I were to give grades they would have made a 90 and up. My children aren't geniuses. Well I tend to think they're brilliant. However, that's a mothers point of view. They're normal children. Singing and listening to a song over and over again drilled the information into their minds. They were learning without realizing it. Music is power y'all. We have to make careful decision when choosing what to allow in our home.

Geography Songs by Larry and Kathy Troxel
With this "curriculum" you get a CD with 34 songs, a detailed map that you can color, and a booklet that has the lyrics as well as more maps and various information. Through song you'll learn the continents, oceans, countries, and the solar system just to name a few. The end of the book has a crossword puzzle for children to complete.

States and Capitals Songs
This "curriculum" includes a CD with 14 songs and a map of the United States. We love how she includes the distinction in the states by the way she says some capitals and states. I'll use my homestate as an example. Austin, Texas is sung with a hick accent and followed by a yeehaw! We liked to have hot wheels drive from state to state as she sung the songs.

I read once where a homeschool mom taped the maps to her kitchen table and laid a clear table cloth on top of them which was taped down as well. This protected the maps and allowed her children to have access to the maps at all times. My children and I love the CDs. Theyre fun to sing along with, they're educational, and best thing is that children don't realize they're learning. Talk about Deuteronomy 6 education. Learning through living. Or you might not this style  of education as Charlotte Mason. I give the CDs five stars. We love them! They're super handy for taking school on the go, popping one into the radio and coloring away, practicing map skills by having hot wheels drive across the maps while listening to the CDs, etc. I do hope you will give these a try in your homeschool this year. You will be blessed. It doesn't take long to reap the benefits either. My 4yr old knows some of her states and capitals just from listening along side her sisters!

If interested you can listen to some of the Troxel's songs and watch an educational videa along with the song at:


Kathy is a sweet lady. She is extremely kind and oh so easy to talk to. I enjoyed working with her to bring this review to you my dear readers. I recieved a copy of the above three CDs in exchange for an HONEST review (FTC rules). I recieve no commission nor was I required to write a positive review. My honest opinion is that the CDs are well worth the investment. They've benefitted us and I know they'll benefit you too. So do your homeschool a favor and hop on over to buy some educational material.

Bonus: The music is safe. By that I mean it's not rock music or hip hop. It's clean and safe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A-B-C Say It With Me

(Included in our package was a handout for Samaritan Ministries, our DVD, and a thoughtful note)

A-B-C Say  it  With  Me  Bible  Memory  Verses  is such  a  cute  film. My  children adored  it!  It’s  about  an hour long. The  film  goes  through  the  alphabet  giving  a  bible  verse  for each  letter  with  a skit  to  show  the meaning. For  example, the  letter  A stands  for,  “All  we  like  sheep have  gone  astray,”  Isaiah  53:6.  They then show  a boy  climbing  down a  hill after  a  lost  lamb.  The  boy  catches the  lamb  and  returns it  to  the flock. It’s  a  way  to  reinforce  the bible  verse  and  to  make  it  come  alive  for little  children.  Now  I  am  a  firm believer that the word of God is ENOUGH. However, there is nothing wrong with visual reminders. Read more about it here and watch the trailer as well


 The  film  was  beautifully  shot  by  the  Moore  family. Their farm  and  home  is so  homey. Really  there  is no other  word  to  describe  it.  Their place  is  just  one  of  those  places  that  if you  were  to  go  you  wouldn’t want to  leave. It  is  beautiful.  There  are  shots  of  horses, sheep, baby  birds,  etc.

  Throughout  the  film  you  can  see  the  love  the  family  has for each other.  We  watched the  behind  scenes  as well  and  the  love  is  definitely  real,  not  just  show.  The  family  stands  out. Seriously  they  stand  out  in  a good  way. I  admire  them.  The  ladies are  all  modestly  dressed.  My  daughters  and  I  were  awing  over some  of the  ladies  outfits. I  was  even telling  my  husband  about  it. He,  unfortunately, did  not  get  the pleasure  of watching  the  film  with us.  Yet. The  Moore  family  is  quite  large  too  which  also  makes  them stand  out.

  My children really  didn’t  like  to  see  the  film  end. They  were  encouraged by  the  Moore  family.  At  one point  in  the  film  the  mother comes out  and  sees  some  of her  children  watching  a  Crowe’s Nest  video surrounded by  lots  of  toys.  She  tells  them  to  pick  up the mess.  The children  are  heard  saying  Philippians 2:14, “Do  all things without  murmurings  and  disputings.”  The  children clean  the room,  mom  comes  in,  and  they  all celebrate  by  hugging. How  sweet. My  children  have  actually  been quoting  that  verse  when I tell them  to pick up!!! Oh  how  it  blesses this  mother to  hear her  children quoting  Scripture  to  get  through  a  task. The word  of God  is  living  and  powerful!   At another  point  in  the  film  it  shows  some  children writing  Scripture  on  paper. One  of  the  girls  later hands one  to  her  harried  waiter. It’s  a  sweet  moment  of a  child  fulfilling  the  Great  Commission. Just acting  I know,  but  it  serves  as a  reminder  to  my  children  that they  aren’t so  weird  after  all. And  they’re not. I do  like  that  they  include  the homemade  Gospel  tract  scene. I can  see  some  of those  being  made  in our future. They present the Gospel at the end as well. A great way to end a sweet film.

This is definitely  a  safe  film. You  could  turn  it  on  and  leave  the  room  without  having  to  worry  about what your  children are  watching. Bonus for  me  is  that  they  use  KJV  scripture. All  and  all  we  really enjoyed A-B-C Say  It  With  Me  Bible  Memory  Verses. I  asked  my  children  to  rate  it  for  me. They  give  it five stars….which means they LOVE IT!

  Now  my  review  on  the  Moore  family  themselves,  from  my  limited  contact  with  them  through  email,  is that they’re  a  sweet  family.  Honestly. They  were  professional and  kind.  I  enjoyed  working  with  them  to bring  this review  to  you  dear readers!  If  you’ll  do  yourself a  favor and  hop  on  over  to  their  website to  purchase  this film  or  one  of  their  others  for  your  wee  little  ones,  that  would  be  awesome. Not  only are you  benefiting  yourself  (because  we  all know  how  hard  it  is to  find  family  friendly,  godly  movies)  but you’re  also  supporting  a  brother  and  sister  in Christ. I  receive  no  commission  for  this and was given a copy in exchange for an honest review (FTC rules). My  honest  opinion is that this  film  is  a great  way  to  encourage  your children in  the  faith.  You can purchase it on their website Moore Family Films or on Amazon.

Have you seen this film? Or any of their other films? What are your thoughts on it? If you havent seen it do you plan to watch it soon?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Grilling Burgers and Baking Buns


It's summer time which means grilling time!!!! Which means that I get a break from cooking....not really because I make our buns from scratch. 

Oh it's a beautiful mess! 

I'd like to share my favorite hamburger bun recipe with you! I found it on the taste of home website. We also use these for rolls with our bean soup. They work out great for hotdogs as well when rolled in a rectangular style. 

Before I share the recipe I want to share this review I found on it. I just adore it. 
"Here on our ranch, I cook for three men who love hamburgers. These fluffy yet hearty buns are just right for their big appetites. I also serve the buns plain with a meal. -J.M"

Such a simple review yet I see the love of a fellow homemaker shining through. 

Without furthur ado here's my favorite bun recipe. Enjoy :) 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour



Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place 3 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  3. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 1 dozen.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Handbook of Nature Study lived out



"The only right way to begin plant study with young children is through awakening their interest in and love for flowers. Most children love flowers naturally; they enjoy bringing flowers to school, and here, by teaching recognition of flowers by name, may be begun this delightful study. The teacher may say: "Thank you, John, for this bouquet. Why, here is a pansy, a bachelor's button, a larkspur, and a poppy." Or, "Julia has brought me a beautiful flower. What is its name, I wonder?" Then may follow a little discussion, which the teacher leads to the proper conclusion. If this course is consistently followed, the children will learn the names of the common flowers of wood, field, and garden, and never realize that they are studying anything." -The Handbook of Nature Study

"...a lens is a help in almost all of this work because it is such a joy to the child to gaze at the wonders it reveals." - The Handbook of Nature Study

Saturday, July 2, 2016

There's No Place Like Home

(Artwork by my lovely kiddos)

It's morning. I wake up to the sounds of a baby cooing and children rustling about. With great pains I force my sleepy eyelids upward. I have a hard time in the mornings. One day I will beat the struggle and will rise before the birds. Until then I must deny myself any more slumber and forcefully get out of my comfortable bed. I throw back my floral blanket and tell myself, "Arise sleepy head!"

This is home. 

Finally I appear in the kitchen in zombie mode. The true zombie apocalypse happens every morning when this tired mother, half asleep, appears out of nowhere. Coffee is my antidote. Ah, the pot is finally gurgling away. The smell of my antidote fills the air. One sip, and I'm ready for a marathon. Complete with tied shoelaces.Though mine happen to be tied together because one of my youngin's decided they needed airplanes for their dinosaurs and mommy's shoes were close and the perfect size. The rest is history. 

This is home.

Breakfast is made. A pile of dirty dishes on the counter is proof that my bunch is fed. Time to tackle making bread or it won't be done in time for lunch. The house smells of the rising bread. I soak it in. Such a heavenly smell. The faucet is turned on to start filling my sink up, add a squirt or two of dish soap, throw in the silverware, grab a crocheted dishcloth, and I'm ready to tackle this task. Right at the moment that I plunge my hands into the soapy water the baby starts crying. The dishes will have to wait. Someone wants their breakfast.

This is home.

I sit down on the couch and start nursing my baby. On the floor is spread blocks and various other toys. My girls are busy building a city. I watch in amazment. They are pretty creative.

This is home.

(Y'all this is just the morning. My day just begun. Whoever said being a full time mom was easy work has no idea what they are talking about. )

Scrambled eggs, bread rising, soapy water, children playing, baby coos.
Taste. Smell. Feel. See. Hear.

Home engages all five senses. Home is a place where we mold the future. Home. I like being home and I find it hard to leave. When given the choice of staying home or going out, I choose home. At home I can run in the grass barefooted with people I know and love dearly. In public I'm forced to where shoes in crowded places among, sometimes, rude strangers.

This proverb rings true:
‘Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home!