Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beauty In The Heart–A character study for girls {Review}



Doorposts is a company that is known for Bible based parenting and character training materials. 

They have a brand spankin’ new book, Beauty in the Heart, written especially for young ladies ages 10-12. My daughter was lucky enough to be able to receive this book to review.

This Bible study specifically focuses on inner beauty, while still realizing that wanting to be pretty on the outside is natural and acceptable.  It’s not completely shutting out trying to make your self look your best.  This study shows you that you can’t have full outer beauty without inner beauty.  

One of my favorite quotes from the introduction is where is; 

The truest beauty comes from our hearts. No matter how hard we work to be beautiful on the outside, if our hearts aren’t right with God and right with people, we won’t really be beautiful. A rebellious, selfish heart usually shows.”

As well as helping you grow to understand inner beauty, this workbook style Bible study is a perfect first Bible study book as it teaches/uses basic bible study techniques such as;

  • Use a concordance
  • Study a specific topic in the Bible
  • Perform a character study
  • Use marginal study notes
  • Study a verse, passage, or entire chapter or book of the Bible
  • Find the original word used in a passage and how it is used in other passages
  • Use free Bible study tools on computers and mobile devices

Each of the 86 lessons, which are spread throughout 10 chapters, only take about 5-15 minutes each. They are meant to be done 5 days a week for a duration of about 17 weeks.  Many lessons also have optional “For Further Study” suggestions.  Using the optional studies you can stretch this out over an entire year. 

The 10 Chapters are entitled:

  1. Beauty in Submission: An Inductive Study in 1 Peter
  2. Beauty in the Heart: A Verse Study on 1 Peter 3:3-4
  3. Beauty in Trusting God: A Character Study of Sarah
  4. Beauty in Humility: A Book Study of Ester
  5. Beauty in Modesty: A Verse Study of 1 Timothy 2:9-10
  6. Beauty in Serving: A Word and Topical Study
  7. Beauty without Discretion: A Verse Study of Proverbs 11:22
  8. Beauty in Crisis: A Chapter Study of 1 Samuel 25
  9. Beauty in The Gates: A Book Study of Ruth
  10. Beauty in Review

In the back there are also Alternate Questions for Young Men.  This guide can be used with young men so they know what to look for in a wife.

Along with a Bible you don’t mind marking up, there are two highly recommended materials; Nave’s Topical Bible and Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.  This study primarily uses the KJV version of the Bible, but can easily be adapted to your translation of choice. 

My daughter is beautiful on the inside and outside.  However, I wanted her to have a bible study that helps her to see that outer beauty comes with inner beauty.  

I mean with the pressures of todays society, this seems imperative for me to have her learn. 

I have Emily doing this 5 lessons a week, sometimes more.

A few typical lesson may look like:

  • Pray and Read an assigned section of the Bible.  Find the answers to the questions in the text.


  • Memorize this verse
  • Use a dictionary to define these assigned words that are used in the verse.


  • Highlight the main characters in this particular story of the Bible. 

There are such a wide variety of lessons that is just a small sampling.  Check out a PDF sample of the book right here!

All of the lessons did only take her the 5- 20 minutes each.   She said they all made her think and reflect on her feelings and what the Bible says.  She said the lesson were easy enough to not feel overwhelmed, with just enough challenge in them to not make them feel babyish or childish.

Beauty in the Heart retails for $14.00 for the softcover book and $10.00 for the ebook.  The softcover books will begin shipping on August 29th! 

They have a similar Bible study book specifically for boys as well, Because You Are Strong.  Some of the crew members reviewed this book as well.

To see what others think of both of these books, check out this post. To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Random 5 on Friday



I saw this great blog link up called Random 5 on Friday.

The Pebble Pond


Without further ado, here are 5 random things about my week.

1. I paid my library fines to the tune of $50.  ouch!

2. I have been up to my eyebrows in planning our school year.  (yea, I know can we say procrastinator?)

3. I am making some zucchini salsa to use up my over abundance of zucchini and canning it. 

4.  I began to menu plan this week and I actually stuck to it for 3 nights in a row!!  HUGE!!

5. I had an incredibly stressful start to my week as I discovered my url was bought right out from under me.  So now I just sit here with a .blogspot address.  I am dealing. 

A pic to share.


This is my planning stack!  YIKES!  Better get on that first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Menu Plan Monday or not.



Yea, I am aware it’s Tuesday…… uh, Wednesday. 

I decided to menu plan again.  I have loved using Simplified Dinners, and I will actually continue to do so.  I just wasn’t planning real well with it.  I love decided to still use it for the most part just adding in a few other recipes here and there.

It helps that I found a recipe set that I used to own and always regretted getting rid of at a yard sale this past weekend. 

I am also going to share one of our favorite quick lunch recipes, Ham and Cheese Roll Ups. 


Here goes. 


Choices this week are: bagels, toast and egg, cereal or toaster waffles.  


Choices this week are: Leftovers, Breakfast Burritos, Speedy Pita Pizzas, Ham and Cheese Roll ups, Chicken Cesar Salad and lunch out one day.   Unless you are having leftovers you must eat what is made that day.


Monday- Pork Chops, green beans and potato wedges

Tuesday- Spaghetti Bake, cheesy biscuits

Wednesday- Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken, rice and broccoli.  (the leftover chicken will go in our chicken caesar salads for lunch)

Thursday- Taco Salads

Friday- Flank Steak with scallop potatoes

Saturday- Grilled Salmon, Ranch Red Potatoes and Salad.

Ham and Cream Cheese Roll Ups


ham slices

cream cheese

crescent rolls

green onions




Directions: mix 3 oz cream cheese with 1Tb honey and a few minced green onions.  Spread this mixture on an open crescent. 

Top with ham slice

mix 1Tb mustard with 1/4 c mayo and 1 Tb honey

Top ham slice with honey mustard mix. 

Roll up crescents and bake for 15 min at 350 degrees.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our County Fair ~


Emily and Katey both entered multiple things in our county fair.  I am just highlighting a few of them.

IMG_1255[1]Let me start off with some fantastic news!  Emily entered a pillowcase from a sewing class she was taking with our homeschool co-op and it got 1st place and qualified for the state fair!  WHOOP! WHOOP! 


Katey entered an extra pocket she made using the book Sewing School 2.  Katey is still a Cloverbud with 4H, therefor she is not judged.  She still got a ribbon. 


Another favorite is the Little Red Barn put on by our local FFA.


The fireman’s challenge is a sure hit every year as well.


Katey was chosen to go up on stage our the Scales and Tales Reptile show.  She got kissed by a lizard!!


We went to the Demolition Derby this year and they had Monster Trucks there.  It did make for a long night all the setting up and taking down of everything.  It was still a lot of fun.  This was a great derby.  (Last year we actually ended up leaving early it was so boring)


After the derby we went to the family dance with a local band performing.  It was a lot of fun and one of my favorite things every year.  This year a young man asked Emily to dance, and she said “yes!”  It was so cute and I am sure it made his night!   That takes some guts right there!

All of these things were free for us!  All of them!  There were reserved seats you could pay for at the derby, but we just sit in the free seats.    Don’t get me wrong I did spend money at the fair on food and rides, oh and I bought some things at the booths, but you can do many things for free at your county fair! 

I highly recommend going and participating in things.  We love the fair! 



Monday, August 19, 2013

Relax, It's just a flat tire........

We load up the car, all things carefully packed and in a precise spot.

 We load in, our car full to capacity.

We get about halfway through our 10 hour drive.  We are enjoying the scenery as we travel through the middle of Utah on a Sunday.  

The 4 year old suddenly has to pee and he means NOW!  

We do what any respectable family would do and pull off the side of the highway.  I unbuckle him and he does what he has to.  I hear a bug making a funny noise.  Then suddenly it hits me right upside the head..... 

The tire is going flat and fast!  

Yay for us, I have a tire emergency repair kit, in the stow and go......... beneath some luggage and a cooler and the kids feet and.....well you get the idea.  

So as I feverishly work toward uncovering the repair kit as the weight of all our stuff and our bodies are deflating the tire, and, I mean FAST.

I finally uncover it.

My husband and brother, who was along for the adventure began to work as a team plugging the hole.  

One plug in and we're golden or so we thought....  The tire is still leaking, we try a second plug and now we're golden.....

We head to the nearest gas station about 10 miles down the road.  We made it, full the tire up with air and......

If you know my luck, you guessed it, still leaking.  

2 more plugs later and it's still leaking.  

We call a truck stop and ask them how much it would be to patch a leaky tire.  It was just a measly $320.00 dollars.  Which happens to be slightly out of my budget.  Not to mention more expensive than a BRAND NEW TIRE.  We even double checked that they realized we were not a semi.  They did.  

We begin calling around other places.  No where was opened.  It was a Sunday afternoon.  

My husband decided to go in the gas station and ask, they suggested a Walmart about 20 miles back.  

I called them.  They are open and can patch my tire for $10!  Yay!  If I can make it there.  

We try.  

We make it!  Yay! 

Then they inform me that they can not patch a tire that has a plug in it. 


We ask them to try since the plugs weren't holding anyways.  Actually it was more of a begging from my husband.  They say they will try. We get some lunch and wait.

They call us up to the counter.  They were able to fix it!   

Now...... Yay!!!!

We get on the road again and made it to the cabin!  

After a trip like that we all have a fun family campfire complete with karaoke.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our adventure.

A few notes to justify our behavior:

The spare wouldn't have held the weight any better than the under inflated tire.  

Walmart was only able to do the patch after the plug, because the hole on the tire was so big the plugs wouldn't hold.  

My kid had to pee and he couldn't hold it.  Pulling over, running something over on the shoulder and all that we went through was better than my kid peeing his pants.  (At least that's what I keep telling myself).  

Freaking out wouldn't have helped.

I was able to teach my kids to:
Relax, even though we just go a flat tire in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday with a car full of stuff and people, just relax while we figure it out.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Small Scale Nature Study–Summertime!




Our community is great about putting on free activities for the kids in the summer.  One of the ones we went to they had a nature trail walk with a plant and tree identification clue game. IMG_1202[1]  Each child got a paper bag to collect things on their walk.  When we got back to the pavilion we made a tree collage with the items.  IMG_1206[1]

There is a small creek at the park we were at and my little budding entomologists were fascinated with the Water Striders.  Which they had learned about on the Brainfood Learning Insects DVD, we watched.  


We had to catch a few and bring them home.  We watched the movie again to pay specific attention to the part about them.  We also researched a little more on the internet.  The ones they caught didn’t last more than a day.  All the kids in the neighborhood had fun observing them and learning about them. 

This was all it took to open the door wide about nature! 

Join the fun and go exploring. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer, What Have You Done For Me Lately???


We are such an outdoors family that we tend to pack our summers full of outdoor activities.  Here are just a few highlights as I am cleaning out the camera on my phone.

Camping: IMG_1003[1]

We took a fun camping trip with about 35 of our friends over the 4th of July.  It is always one big family friendly party. We had a blast!

Huskin’ Corn:IMG_1116[1]


That is definitely a summer activity around here!   I grew up huskin’ corn on my back porch, my kids are gonna grow up huskin’ corn.



An indoor movie matinĂ©e with treats and all.  IMG_1154[1]

We don’t do movies um ever.  Once a year, in the summer, really!   We usually hit the drive in one night as well, but ours burned down this summer and there are no plans to rebuild.  Sad smile 

A Garden:IMG_1158[1]IMG_1157[1]

Again, this is just like the corn.  I grew up with a garden, I have had a garden almost my entire adult life.   We love us some veggies!   They are so much better homegrown and it is such an experience for my family. 

What are some summertime traditions at your house?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Brainfood Learning

Brainfood Learning has come out with a set of fascinating DVD’s. 


I have an 8 year old daughter who is obsessed with bugs!  I am talking obsessed.  She loves to learn anything about them.  I had never used videos as a teaching tool about them. 
We were both head over heels excited to find out we were going to be receiving The Fascinating World of Insects DVD.

This appropriate for all ages DVD is about 43 minutes long and includes truly captivating pictures as well as interesting facts about each insect. 
Each insect has video of it in it’s natural habitat. 
The insects featured are: grasshopper, ladybug, rhino beetle, firefly, mosquito, honey bee, water strider, ant, praying mantis, dragonfly and butterfly.
You will learn many details about each insect, such as body parts, and what they are used for.  If the insect is commonly a predator, or prey.
There are multi level reviews at the end of the video.  They range from fairly easy with a flashcard type activity. The more advanced students can do a review/ quiz on the facts of a specific insect as well as broader scientific terms related to insects.

There are also some FREE! PDF lesson plans for each video.

Here is a short preview sample of the DVD.

Shortly after Katey watched this video for the first time, we went on a small nature study walk.  She caught some Water Striders, which she had learned about in the video. 
She brought the bugs home and gathered all her friends around to check them out and then had all her friends watch the DVD with her. 
She They all learned many things from the video and were able to look up close and personal at Katey’s bug collection.  The video showed incredible close up picture of the bugs and their parts; it was really neat to see the kids all looking for and pointing to the ones they saw on the video.

This video was able to hold my 8 year olds attention as well as many of the neighborhood boys and girls ranging from 4-10.  It was fun to watch them yell out the answers on the reviews at the end.   I really do feel like they all learned a lot from this DVD, as well as it opening their minds to want to learn more about insects.

To see what others think of these 3 videos, check out this post.

To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Just checking in…… and rambling……



Here I sit outside in my lawn chair, enjoying the summer nights. 

Here I sit thinking, writing, listening, watching and enjoying it all.

I have to say it.

I am not ready for summer to be over.  Not at all!

I still have all these grand plans to do before summer is over.  We have had a ton of rain these past few weeks.  The nights have been cool and relaxing. 

Don’t get me wrong, this has not been one of those lazy summers you hear about.  NOPE!

This has been one of our busier ones.  We have traveled much less this summer than in the past.  We have just had more things to do around here. 

I am however ready for all the neighbor kids to go back to school.  haha.

I am ready to get back into routine with everything. 

It seems like Tommy hasn’t even been here at all this summer.  He has either been at his dads or at scout camp or out with friends.  We are really excited he is back.

Emily has taken up piano lessons and stayed busy with friends, she has joined in quite a few activities going on at the library.

Katey has been continuing her girls group classes, Handmaidens of Virtue.  I have actually started school with her already she is up to two subjects a day.  I decided since the older kids are easier to get started and fall into routine.  She is a little slower going and has a harder time falling into routine. 

Tyler has been growing and growing.  He is just the age where he is discovering friends.  He has a few neighborhood boys he likes to play with.  They swim, play video games together or play with cars trucks or trains.

I have stayed busy, sometimes working, always being a mom and a wife.  Most recently I have been busy planning our next year.  I will have a 9th grader, a 7th grader, a 3rd grader and officially a preschooler.  Some of my friends put together a freezer meal exchange as well as a mixing party.   There were 8 of us that participated in the freezer meal exchange.  There were also 12 of us for the mixing party.  At the mixing party, we were all assigned ingredients to bring.   We then made brownie mix, pancake mix and taco seasoning.   I have recently ended a friendship that was just too much drama for me and I have had more time and been more at peace with myself since ending it.  I still feel sad sometimes, she was a friend.  I just couldn’t handle some decisions she was making.  I have never ended a friendship like I did this one. 

My husband has been really busy.  If he hasn’t been working, he is at home working on two ongoing projects.  One is a picnic/ patio set made out of pallets.  The other is a type of remodel on a small utility trailer we purchased. 

The future:

I really feel like so far I have been choosing out great curriculum, that will work well with who we are.  I hope to have it all finalized and post about it later on this week. 

We do still have one or two more trips planned.  We are starting school the middle of August, with our “official” start date not being until Sep. 3rd.  That way, these first two weeks of August serve as a cushion to not make me feel to guilty about taking other days off throughout the year.

I have made and set some new goals as well.  I am going to balance my checking account every day!  Gasp, I know, but the reality is, I don’t.  I am also going to be better about planning dinner and grocery shopping better. 

I am really looking forward to this school year.  I just am not ready for the cold. 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bible Stories Painting Book 2


bible stories 2

Bible Stories Painting Book 2

By Juliet David

Illustrated by Simon Abbott

24 pages

Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Price $7.99

Are you looking for a simple way to teach/ immerse your young child in the bible? 

For my little one, keeping him busy is hard enough.  Actually sitting down and discussing the bible stories with him can be down right complicated.  For me, it is best to keep it simple, as well as have a child friendly activity that holds his interest.

Bible Stories Painting Books have all that!

They include 6 separate watercolor paint palettes.  Three are at the front of the book and three at the back. 

The simple pictures and stories- which are really just a few sentences make it easy and fun for kids to paint. 

I loved this book so much that we actual took it traveling with us.  All I needed was the book and a paintbrush.  I could find water and a container practically anywhere.

Overall this book has 16 different pictures and bible stories from the Old Testament to the New Testament.  The stories go in order from Adam and Eve to Jonah and The Whale to Jesus’ Birth to Jesus’ Resurrection, and many in between.

Each page is extra thick as to not rip or be worn down as the page gets wet with the paints.  The paints show up bright and beautiful.

Buy it today!

I have loved many books published by Kregel Publishing.  They even have a Bible Stories 1 watercolor painting book.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Friday, August 2, 2013

Global Art ~ Art projects from around the world! {review}

Gryphon House is an award-winning publisher of early childhood resources.   They recently sent me the book Global Art written by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter to review.


Global Art has won 3 awards already!

I knew we needed more art in our lives,  it was just all the planning and preparing and getting sidetracked and overwhelmed as I looked for ideas on the internet.  I also never knew how to choose which projects we would do. I was head over heals when I found out I would receive this book.  What a great way to tie in art and geography/ history together.

The first thing I noticed about this book is the organization of it.  There are about 136 activities throughout the 7 chapters.  Each chapter is based on a particular continent.  Going over the 7 continents: 

  1. Africa
  2. Antarctica
  3. Asia
  4. Europe
  5. North America
  6. Oceania (Australia and the South Pacific)
  7. South America

There are a few icons used throughout the book.   Every project has the applicable icons.


  • One for experience level of the artist.  (this one really helps with knowing how difficult the project might be)
  • One for the art technique used, such as painting, sculpture, collage, and more.
  • One for planning and preparation.  This one is great for procrastinators planners like me.   PA231924
  • There is also a caution one, so if you child is trying to do some on their own, they would know there are dangerous tools that need to be used, such as a hot glue gun.

Each project has a materials list, the process – detailed out, step by step, as well as a brief little history of either the project or the continent, along with a simple map of where the continent is located.  Sometimes variations are noted.

The short and simple history summaries gave just enough information, that it still felt like art class, while wetting your appetite to dive into learning more about each country.

I really appreciated the uniqueness and simplicity of some of the projects.



Katey and her friend made these colorful baskets while learning about Barotse, Zambia, Africa.



Katey, Tyler (my 4 year old) and their friend also made these Crystal Watercolor Snowflakes while learning about Antarctica. 

Some other projects they have done or we have planned are the Scarab Stones, Egypt, Africa- which they turned into a tic tac toe set for outside, Karesansui Mini Garden – Japan, Sand Paintings, Navajo, Native American, United States and more!

At first we just jumped in and began doing the projects that interested us.  We have recently began our geography studies for 3rd grade and I will be tying some of these art projects into it. 


You can also see how this book falls in line with your state standards if you are concerned or curious about that!


Global Art is sold by Gryphon House for $16.95 and is recommended for Kindergarten through 5th grade.


Don’t just take my word for it, see what other’s had to say.  Click the banner!


To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.



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