Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goal Planning Monday - August 29

Goal Planning Monday

It's time for Goal Planning Monday with Katrina of Mama Manuscripts!

I'm a wee bit late, but, better late than never.

Taking a look at my last GPM goals:

1.  Praise the Lord for my life, my husband, my children and my home. DONE!

2.  Continue therapy exercises and pray for full healing, restoration and a new vehicle! DONE!

3.  Continue putting the Lord first during our school days. DONE!  (We've had some amazing days since we've implemented this!)

4.  Continue to encourage my children to work on setting and working on their own goals. DONE!

5.  Schedule purposeful time to work on crafts -- especially The Nip Napper's ABC 123 album for his 2nd birthday! WORKING ON IT!

6.  Work on reviews for:  "Sabers, Spears and Catapults", "Kings of the Bible" and write up "How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids" and "Civilize This".   2 reviews up, 1 written and will be posted Friday and one that has to be done.

7.  Clean out kids school cubbies. DONE!

8.  Visit and comment on the other GPM entrants! DONE!

This weeks goals:

1.  Continue exercising

2.  Take care of misc. administrative family paperwork.

3.  Finish The Nip Napper's ABC 123 album.

4.  Finish review for Kings of the Bible and Big IQ Kids.

5.  Continue to put the Lord first in our homeschool days.

6.  Visit the other GPM participants.

How's your week looking?  Don't forget to link up too!

Monday, August 29, 2011

TOS Crew How to Have A H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids Book Review

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids is a well thought out, God geared book that challenges you with this question,   "How well do you really know your kids?"

Originally started as a presentation for a state conference, H.E.A.R.T. stands for:
H - Have a heart for the things of God
E - Enrich your marriage
A - Accept your kids
R - Release them to God
T - Teach them the truth

Mother of 7, Author Rachel Carmon candidly takes the reader through her pre-homeschool years.  You'll understand her comparing it to "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" and appreciate the ladies God puts alongside her early in her journey.

What really gripped me was how Rachel greeted each of her children at the start of the day - speaking life into them  and how she prayed for her children's future.

I laughed out loud at:
"I had been trained to teach a roomful of strangers, not individuals and not my own children.  I had been trained to teach the mind, not to reach the heart.  My training had not prepared me for this."  

I can relate!  How many of us have had our picture of the "perfect classroom" dashed to pieces in light of what God really wants for our children in our homeschool?  It takes a wise woman to understand that God's best should always override our preconceived "ideal".

I love the heart checkup questions.  These really got me thinking, praying and listening to the Lord for His response.

The Chapter titled "Release Them to God" was powerful for me.  It made me realize that our children are 'ours' for only a short period of time

"We need to take care of our children as if they were our own while being ever mindful of the fact that, from the beginning, they were never ours to keep."

Overall, How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids will challenge you to really seek out how well you know your own children and then help you seek the Lord on their behalf.

This 205 page book retails for $13.

Visit their website at:

Here's what other crew members are saying.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sabers, Spears, and Catapults - A Providential History of Warfare Technology Review!

Sabers, Spears and Catapults
Sabers, Spears and Catapults

From their website:

God, in His sovereignty, has ordained that war be a constant reality in history. We read in the scriptures that, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory lies in the hands of the Lord.” The study of war reveals the providential means God has used to decide the courses of men and nations, bringing judgment to one people, and raising up salvation for another. The history of warriors and their weapons has fascinated men for centuries and the Bible itself recounts thrilling battles and the weapons that were wielded in victory and defeat. God Himself uses military hardware in reality and in metaphor, especially mentioning the sword.

During our study of history, it's commonplace for us to take an in depth look at various battles throughout the ages. But, we've never studied the history of warfare technology itself.

Studying this aspect of history greatly intrigued my boys, ages 12 and 10. So, naturally they enjoyed listening to Sabers, Spears and Catapults - A Providential History of Warfare Technology from Vision Forum.

Lecturer William Potter takes you into the very heart of history. Included on this 240 minute, 4 cd set is:

* War, Warriors and Weapons of Bible Times

* Agincourt: Longbows, Swords and The End of an Era

* Waterloo: The Gunpowder Revolution's Great Harvest

*The Somme: Mechanical Massacre in the 20th Century

The first cd deals with the beginnings of warfare and the technology used. The very first weapon ever used is the sword by the Cherubim to guard The Garden of Eden after The Fall. In fact, the word "sword" is mentioned 425 times in the Bible!

We also learn that Hebrew poetry is filled with images of battles and providential delivery and discover the three basic types of weapons and tactics that remained unchanged for close to 4000 years!

Discs 2-4 contain 3 different battles that occurred is 3 different centuries along the France-Belgium boarder. Each of these battles show a progression in technology and method.

The listener is given fascinating information about each of these three battles. Making you feel that you are really there observing the action.

Some of the facts you'll hear are:

*How the less equipped British used battle tactics to triumph over the well-armored French at the Battle of Agincourt.

*How even the use of gunpowder did not take away the need for hand to hand combat at the Battle of Waterloo.

*How the use of trench warfare prolonged battles with neither side making significant gains at the Battle of The Somme.

From longbow to gun powder to the machine gun, Potter illustrates the advance in weapons, and the evolution in the methods of warfare. Many of these came to life within the last 100 years and changed the face of war forever!

Disclaimer: I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up (FDR: The Man and His Policies) - August 27

Model of The White House
Model of The White House
Seeing as we finally have transportation, it was a great week for some car schooling.  But, what do you do when you haven't ordered the correct books from the library for your history this week? scour your bookshelf for replacements!

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

And fortunately, I found these.  Coupled with a viewing of 'An American President' we came away with a good understanding of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Great Depression Era books

We didn't get to the rest of Kit's story, but, managed to read through 'Welcome to Kit's World' along with viewing 'Annie' the musical.

Stay tuned for the rise of Totalitarianism!

Friday, August 26, 2011

TOS Crew Blog Hop

TOS Crew Blog Hop

Welcome to the first TOS Crew Blog Hop of the 2011-2012 cruise season!  We will be getting under way VERY soon with reviews of the latest and greatest homeschool curriculum and what-nots available.
This is my second year sailing with the Crew and I'm so excited to be back!  Please take a moment and surf through other Crew and Homeschooling Blogs --- and don't forget to sign up yourself!
The Guidelines for participating in the TOS Crew blog hop are as follows:

1. Please grab the blog hop button to spread the word.

2. Please follow our wonderful hosts – Glimpse of Our LifeOur Homeschool Studio, and Our Village is a Little Different via Google Friend Connect.

3. Please do not link up your giveaways, blog hops, etc. (These will be deleted.)

Link up your blog, visit and follow the blogs that interest you and have fun getting to know the 2011-2012 TOS Crew as well as the other participating homeschoolers. If you follow our blogs and leave a comment, we will always follow you back!

Now, let’s get blog hoppin’ and have some fun!

You only need to add your link to one linky for it to show up on all participating blogs. Just click on THIS LINK to be taken to the linky. This hop runs from 8/19 - 8/31.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What is the Christian Blog Crawl?

Some of you may have noticed this button on my sidebar and clicked on it.

Christian Blog Crawl
Christian Blog Crawl

Some of you may have noticed it and ignored it.  Some of you may be seeing it for the first time.

What is it?  It's The Christian Blog Crawl! 

What is that?  Created by DUG, The Christian Blog Crawl is:
"a neat way to share thoughts and words and lessons and ideas from and with other people on a regular basis. My mind started working, I came up with my own idea of what this could be, and I created the Christian Blog Crawl."
Participating blogs are based on Christian values but do not need to focus on any specific subject. As a matter of fact, we aim for a variety of types of blogs."
And Christian variety is EXACTLY what you will find.  From Apologetics to couponing and everything in between, the members of the CBC are dedicated followers of Christ from various denominations living real lives in the real world.

I would like to introduce to you a few of my fellow 'Crawlers':

Duke Taber Taber's TruthsTaber's Truths Christian Blog is the ministry blog of Pastor Duke Taber of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Pine Haven, Wyoming and the Author of Taber's Truths, a weekly colums published in the Moorcroft Wyoming Leader.  His blog comes with a unique perspective since Pastor Duke is a single, divorced pastor.


SHIBBOLETH - is a Christian blog exploring issues of theology, faith and life.  The posts are a mixture of issues I'm currently thing about, new events, sermons and apologetic topics.  I love to discuss theology with other Christians and so would love your comments and thoughts.

Mikel Del Rosario Apologetics Guy
Mikel Del Rosario helps Christians defend the faith with confidence. is the street-level Christian apologetics blog for everyday defenders of the faith. It's accessible apologetics. Simple to get. Easy to remember.

The most important thing God wants me share with my readers is that every Christian needs to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have in Jesus.

Other CBC participants include:
"A bit of faith, a bit of inspiration, a bit of humor, a bit of the every day."

I think you'll be blessed by the insights gained through these fellow soldiers in Christ.  I hope to feature more of my fellow CBC'ers in the future.  Please take some time and drop by for a visit!  Don't forget to tell 'em you were sent by "The Circus"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up (Bull Market & The Great Depression) - August 20

8th birthday!
8th birthday!
But first, a birthday.  My daughter turned 8 this week!  Wow - how time has flown.  As a tradition, there was no school on her special day.  Also following tradition, she got to pick out, help bake and decorate her own cake.  My kids love doing this and we've made such wonderful memories.

This week was very productive and we ended up easily merging two weeks of history into one:

Cracks in Normalcy:  Prohibition & the Bull Market
The Great Depression

Lindenburg - Spirit of St. Louis
Lindenburg - Spirit of St. Louis

Our first hands-on project was reading about Charles Lindbergh and his 'Spirit of St. Louis'.  These models were not so easy to put together as the others' we've gotten by this, I didn't mind the boys choosing to paint theirs all silver.

Selected readings about The Great Depression
Selected readings about The Great Depression

Some of our reading this week!

Selected movies about The Great Depression
Videos too!

It was a great week for movies (many rainy afternoons).  After reading Eric Liddell's biography, we took in 'Chariots of Fire'.....we all agreed that while the movie was entertaining, Eric Liddell's real life was much more interesting.  I was also surprised how much we all enjoyed 'Singin' in the Rain.'

Women's Rights elements for lapbook
Women's Rights elements for lapbook

The boys worked on their Modern American History lapbooks.

Great Depression elements for lapbook
Great Depression elements for lapbook

Kit's lapbook
Kit's lapbook

While my daughter read book 1-3 of the American Girls, Kit Kittredge and worked on her American Girls lapbook.

Join us next week for more revelations of The Great Depression!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adoption Fundraiser and American Girl Doll GIVEAWAY!

American Girl Fundraiser
American Girl Fundraiser

A few months ago, a Tapestry of Grace friend of mine announced that they would be beginning the long process of adding another blessing to their household in the form of adoption.

You can read about this family's heart for adoption and their story HERE.

Though they are in the beginning stages, there's been some ups and downs --- but the Lord has sustained them!

One of the hurdles to overcome is financing this endeavour.  And, here's how you can help.  By donating to their adoption fund, you can get entries into the drawing for an AMERICAN GIRL DOLL.  The winner can choose from Addy, Marie-Grace, Cecile, Josephina, Kaya, Julie, Ivy, Kit, Ruthie, Molly, Emily, Rebecca, or Kanani.

The giveaway ends September 13th.  CLICK HERE to enter today! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goal Planning Monday - August 15

Goal Planning Monday

It's time for Goal Planning Monday hosted by Katrina of Mama Manuscripts.  This meme is a great way to  hold each other accountable and receive encouragement!

It had been awhile since my last GPM and I really miss it!!!

There is so much that needs to be done.  Due to our recent accident, much of it is out of my hands.

What I do have direct control over is:

1.  Praise the Lord for my life, my husband, my children and my home.

2.  Continue therapy exercises and pray for full healing, restoration and a new vehicle!

3.  Continue putting the Lord first during our school days.

4.  Continue to encourage my children to work on setting and working on their own goals.

5.  Schedule purposeful time to work on crafts -- especially The Nip Napper's ABC 123 album for his 2nd birthday!

6.  Work on reviews for:  "Sabers, Spears and Catapults", "Kings of the Bible" and write up "How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids" and "Civilize This".

7.  Clean out kids school cubbies.

8.  Visit and comment on the other GPM entrants!

What's your week looking like?  Come on over and link up!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

When You Don't Succeed, Do it the Way God Wanted You to The First Time Around .... Weekly Wrap Up August 14

Do you ever have times when you think you've heard from God in a particular area and have made the necessary adjustments?

Have you ever overhauled or adjusted your present course after reading and praying over scripture --- thinking that you've made the necessary adjustments?

I have!

And, I though I had a grip on it all.

The Lord, however, had other plans!  Seems that Proverbs 3:5-6 has taken on a whole new meaning for The Circus.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,  and lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him,  and He shall direct your paths. 

NOW I really know what it is to let the Lord plan your day!

This past week has been full of appointments and interruptions.  So ----- instead of having school, we concentrated on Junior Bible Quiz, Teen Bible Quiz and reading for enjoyment.

This week has been eye-opening as it has shown us all the importance of putting God's Word first!  As in, ALL of God's Word!

Our new course has us moving into our Bible studies (both JBQ and TBQ) directly after our morning devotionals instead of 'slapped' on the end of the day.  Our days have definitely started out stronger and brighter and better looking because of this change!

Proverbs 16:9
A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rainy Day "Massacre"????

Ok, it wasn't THAT bad.....but, it was one of those icky, yucky, rainy, dreary, pent up too long kind of days. 

My kids were mumbling, complaining, and picking on each other and exhibiting other behavior that is not one of the 'fruits of the spirit'.  Every few minutes I was having to referee some minor squabble over 'nothing'.

So, I did what any reasonable mother would do....I gave them something that they would HAVE to work together and problem solve (while having fun --- should they choose to cooperate with one another).  I gave them a PROJECT. 

Teach your children to work together
Teach your children to work together

Months ago I bought a Kid Concoctions Kit and put it away for a rainy day.   When I came to the end of my rope, I remembered this little gem and brought it out.  The beauty of using this as a 'team builder' is that my oldest doesn't really doesn't like crafts and my middle children love crafts, but at that moment, couldn't find anything to agree one.  They would have to put their differences aside and work together for the good of 'The Team' without help from me.

I gave them these rules:  You can do ANY of the projects in the book, but, you must work together and you must come to a consensus.  You must not raise your voice and you must be kind towards one another.

After diving into the box, opening the goodies and paging though the instructions, I was pleased to hear the three of them communicating and working through what projects they wanted to do.  One making compromise here and another one making compromise there.  This was working!

Fun with slime
Fun with slime

Fake jewels
Fake jewels

Fake jewels

They ended up making 3 projects - Goo, Taffy and Gluey Gems.  More importantly, they saw first hand how speaking to one another in kind words,  compromising on small issues and maintaining unity (as in working with a team mentality instead of a 'me' mentality) changed their whole day from a 'real drag' into a rewarding experience with those they chose to love.

Matthew 7:12  "So in everything do to others as you would have them do to you."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up (Post World War I and JAZZ!) - August 7

American Culture and the Return to Normalcy.

Selected Reading about the 20's
Selected Reading about the 20's

Some of our reading this week....
It was a quiet and restful week here at the Circus.  We did a lot of reading, relaxing and thanking God for His hand of blessing upon us.

This week, I introduced Jazz to my kids with surprising results.  They LOVED it!  We learned about and listened to:  Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith among others.

Louis Armstrong - "Hello Dolly"

Duke Ellington and Orchestra - "Don't Mean a Thing"  (kids see the 'trumpet mute' in action for the first stuff!)

Bessie Smith "I Ain't Got Nobody"

We also listened to other Rag Time tunes, watched the Charleston and Charlie Chaplin.

Charlie Chaplin - better than the 3 Stooges!

Up next: Kit's World, Prohibition and the Bull Market.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Being Thankful in the Midst of the Storm.....

I'm writing this to help me remember and to forget.

Last Saturday we were traveling though the mountains in a rain storm on our way home.  We drove through alternative periods of relative clear followed by torrential downpour one right after another for over an hour.

It was during this time that I was feeling ill-at-ease in my spirit and began to pray --- out loud.

I remember hearing the flash flood warning on the radio and looking on the map - noting that we were east of the area of concern.  I also remember the strong persistent urge to remove a rather large hair accessory with 'big teeth' from behind my head and thanking the Lord that He is our Rock and Redeemer.

From this point, it's slow motion.

As we came over a ridge, a new downpour started.  There was water EVERYWHERE.  I have never seen so much standing water before.  The vehicle to our left sprayed us with a giant wave of water as we came to a slightly banking turn.  I saw Hubby move the steering wheel, but the van did not respond.

The van starts to shimmy and I'm suddenly aware that the wheels are no longer touching the road.

At this point, I call out, "LORD JESUS"

Upon hearing me, my 10 year old who had been asleep in the back seat slumped over, sits bolt upright enabling the shoulder belt to properly tighten, protecting him.

The van turns clockwise away from the vehicle beside us.  A semi truck is to our rear.  Inside the van, there is a silent stopping of time and a feeling of being in a centrifuge.

We continue rotating, and I wonder what we will hit...and where the semi is.


I feel the van go airborne.   Seconds later, a hard impact under the drivers seat.

We are jolted and slowed.  But still spinning.

What will we hit next and where is that semi?


And then it is over.

We are still....stopped....and stuck fast into the mountainside.  The van with dings, dents and four completely blown tires is going NO WHERE.

To my left, I see the semi pull over and the driver hop out to help us.  Miraculously, he avoided us without harm to himself as well.

Inside the van, we quickly take human inventory.  Remarkably, 2 of 4 kids are mostly untouched.  The other 2 have slight scrapes and bumps.  The adults are banged up and frazzled but are praising the Lord that everyone is safe!!!

When the initial shock wears off, Hubby and oldest walk the accident area.  After our initial spinning off the road and on to the berm, the van goes into a gently slopping, but deep, ditch.  This kept us from going over to the other side of the highway.  When I felt us go airborne, the rear of the van was actually several feet up in the mountain side traveling across it.  The first "impact" we felt was the van hitting a large rock outcropping.  Though this slowed us down and reoriented the van so the front wouldn't stick out in the road, it also forced the luggage rack to break off and the topper itself to go flying.

While waiting for the van to be towed, the EMS workers, State Trooper and tow truck driver kept telling us how lucky we were.

So, while we are sore, we know full well why we are all still here.

The Word says:

2 Samuel 22:7
In my distress I called upon the LORD,And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry entered His ears.

Psalm 18:6
In my distress I called upon the LORD,And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

Psalm 55:16
As for me, I will call upon God,And the LORD shall save me

Psalm 86:5
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Yes, we made it through the storm.  And yes, now we have a new set of problems to solve.

I want to remember God's hand of protection during the storm and not the storm itself.

I don't want to be like the Israelites who grumbled and complained with their 'new set' of problems after God's deliverance.

I choose to remember "the goodness of God in the Land of the Living." and then trust Him to solve the rest!

Psalm 27:13
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.