Saturday, June 30, 2012

Great for God: Missionaries that Changed the World Book Review

Great for God is a collection of concise life-summaries of 23 missionaries that have influenced, molded and shaped the next generation."Frankly, this book should come with a red-letter warning.  If you interface with these great lives you will inevitably reach a crossroads.  At that juncture you will make a pivotal choice:  Will you consign yourself to a little life or will you be great for God?  Your decision carries huge consequences - for you and for your generation.  If you take "the road less traveled," that will make all the difference."

Great for God is a collection of concise life-summaries of 23 missionaries that have influenced, molded and shaped the next generation.

In our homeschool and devotional time, we have read many missionary stories.  It was a pleasure to see some familiar and not-so-familiar names in this book including:

David Livingstone
Lottie Moon
Jim Elliot
Eric Liddell
Bill Bright and 18 others

This collection of stories comes not only from those that have served in far-off lands, but also have established worldwide Christian organizations.

I'm also pleased to say that we will be including this book in our geography study this year.  Each story encourages the reader to imitate the character of these Christians who have gone before in love, focus, faith, work, courage, hope and so on.

"As this book ends, your challenge begins.  New chapters must be written.  New heroes must join the ranks of Heaven's Hall of Fame.  The King of all nations summons you to greatness - for His glory and the extending of His kingdom.  History awaits your response."

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

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Day in the Life of Homeschool Circus (Our Official First Day of School)

Here's a glimpse into a typical day in the Homeschool Circus household.  Today was particularly  special as it marks the official first day of school for my 6th and 3rd/4th graders.  (My high schooler began his school year 3 weeks ago).

Our mornings start a bit different for each child.  My oldest (9th grader) rises early to start his work.  After his siblings wake up, he joins everyone for breakfast.  After devotions and clean up, it's school time for all.

First things first - I spend about 1/2 hour with The Nip Napper.  Today it was playing with Wikki-Sticks.  (Each child has about 1/2 hour of Nip Napper in their schedule as well.  My 3rd/4th grader reads to him or plays a variety of blocks, my 6th grader wrestles with him or plays trains/cars and my 9th grader likes to do puzzles)
Learning numbers with Wikki Sticks
Learning numbers with Wikki Sticks

Playing pattern blocks
Playing pattern blocks

Next up - Sequential Spelling with my middle children:

Sequential Spelling
Sequential Spelling

Followed by a sharp change of plans --- we were supposed to start our Geography Task Cards, but, I did not have everything I needed to start this week.  Fortunately, this is the perfect opportunity to finish one last book from the Holling C Holling unit study (Beautiful Feet) - Seabird!

In addition to reading a few chapters, we did copywork with some definitions, a little mapping and drawing of a 'bark' (a whaling ship).

Seabird Geography!
Seabird Geography!

My 3rd/4th grader and I spent time doing a Mother/Daughter bible study.

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you.  Psalms 56:3
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you.  Psalms 56:3

My 9th grader completed: math, literature, history, writing, computer science, studied scripture (Teen Bible Quiz) and participated in Kempo class.

My 6th grader completed:  math, spelling, grammar, worked on the Seabird unit study, studied scripture (Teen Bible Quiz), finished his Kempo binder, went to a friends' house and participated in Kempo class.

My 3rd/4th grader completed:  math, spelling, handwriting, worked on the Seabird unit study, had a bible study with mom, read a book, phonics and participated in Kempo.

How do I plan it all?  

Well, this year, my oldest is working independently.  His schedule is basically a copy of the weekly plans from My Father's World.  I then write in his extras onto this schedule and include it in his binder - science, math, computer science, Teen Bible Quiz and Kempo.

The below schedule is mostly for my middle 2 children, but I do have a space for things we do with The Nip Napper as well.

Aside from math, I fill out this schedule once a week.  Math I do everyday and is dependent upon on whether or not each child has achieved mastery.

Our schedule

I also lay out their books the night before so everything is ready to go the next day!

My oldest's High School work --- easiest kept in a box!
My oldest's High School work --- easiest kept in a box!

Having all our books and materials laid out the night before makes for a smoother morning!
Having all our books and materials laid out the night before makes for a smoother morning!

What's a day in the life of your homeschool look like?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Purposeful Pathway - Your Journey with Jesus eBook Review!

Purposeful Pathway - Your Journey with Jesus.I have to admit that reading poetry has not been a big activity in my household.  Being a mostly analytical family doesn't always mix well with trying to unravel the wrappings of prose.

Since working with Caroline Gavin on the Christian Blog Crawl and being strengthen and encouraged by her photography and words, I knew I'd be blessed to read her book, Purposeful Pathway - Your Journey with Jesus.

Correction,  my whole FAMILY has been blessed by this book.  Who knew that you could use a book of Jesus-centered poetry as a personal AND family devotional?

"Embark, dear Christian, on a journey
An inspiring journey of forty days
Growing ever closer to our Lord
Ever more aligned with His ways"

On this 40 days of renewal and growth, the author takes you through the topics of love, commitment, truth, forgiveness, children and much more directing you in the right paths.

This book of poetry will help focus your thoughts on Jesus.  His life, His ministry and how He would want us to walk out our purpose in this life.

You can learn more about Caroline's Christian Life Coach and Speaker Ministry at Purposeful Pathway.

"Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight."
Psalm 119:5

I received a copy of this ebook free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Samuel L. Collins and the Search for Biblical Truths - Singapore DVD Review and GIVEAWAY!

Samuel L. Collins and the Search for Biblical Truths - Singapore .
Samuel L. Collins and the Search for Biblical Truths - Singapore .

In an Indian Jones, spy-like adventure, join homeschooler and adventurer Samuel L. Collins and his family for a globe trotting adventure!

Fun-filled and humorous, this DVD captures the sights and sounds of Singapore while imparting Biblical truths.

"When Samuel L. Collins finds money in Singapore, will he decide to follow his own way or follow God's Truth? Join Sam and his sister Katie, as they follow top-secret clues to solve encrypted cipher codes, utilize high-tech gadgets and locate a hidden treasure box.

Play along with Sam as he applies God's Word to 'crack the case' and learn the meaning
behind Matthew 6:19-21.

It's an all-Singapore, all-family, fun-filled adventure... In this episode of Samuel L. Collins and the search for Biblical Truths."
Starting with scripture and praying for life application, Samuel sets off to find clues, dicipher codes and then solve them all the while dealing with his own heart issue.  He ultimately answers the question "Where are his treasures stored?"

In addition to the Biblical theme, my kids were thrilled to learn about geocaching and cipher codes.  What a great way to include the Lord while have fun with your children!!!

Here another reason why we like this series.... From their website:

What is distinctive about The Search for Biblical Truth Series?

-Throughout this Christian version of thisYoung Raiders of the Lost Ark, your children will witness:

-A father who maintains a biblical position of authority as provider, protector and disciplinarian. He disciples Samuel and Katie through father-led devotions.

-A mother who maintains a biblical position of authority and nurturer of their children while acting as helpmate to her husband. She is the primary home educator.

-Mother and daughter are modestly dressed.

-Children maintain a biblical position of submissiveness, respectfulness and obedience.

-Children spend time alone with God in Bible reading and prayer.

-Children seek out Scriptural principles to evaluate decisions, to ask for forgiveness when necessary and to repent from false ideas.

-Children are taught to obey the Lord, consider His providential ways and evangelize others.

You can check out other Samuel Collins adventures at:  Search for Biblical Truths .

What's better than a DVD produced by a homeschool family?  A GIVEAWAY for one of their fabulous DVD's!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer:
I received a copy of this DVD free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Explore Yellowstone with Noah Justice DVD Review!

"It's flood action, not millions of years".

Explore Yellowstone with Noah Justice
"Yellowstone National Park, where many natural wonders are remarkably preserved, also preserves a testament to the catastrophic Genesis Flood and its after-effects.  Secular and biblical geologists both agree on the evidence found in Yellowstone, but disagree on how to interpret that evidence."

Explore Yellowstone with Noah Justice is the second DVD in the Awesome Science series that ties physical evidence with a global flood using Empirical science as recently seen during the Missoula flood in Eastern Washington state.

Join 14 year old, homeschooled, Noah Justice as he takes you through the evidence  supporting and defending a Biblical worldview of a worldwide, catastrophic flood.  Some of these evidences include:  the rate of growth of terraces in the Mammoth Hot Springs area, complex structured microbes in hot pool's, the absence of glaciation and much more!

Also a part of this DVD is a very well done section on the Petrified Forrest with 7 Awesome Facts that support a young Earth theory.

In addition to the video is a study guide to help tie information together.  (This can be purchased separately.)  Within these pages are:  General information about Yellowstone, the Geologic Column, Geysers, Yellow River and Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Falls and Lake, Hot Springs, Petrified Forrest and much, much more!  As with Explore the Grand Canyon, throughout this study guide are great discussion questions.  For example:  "Why do secular scientists have to combine locations to get their full view of the geologic column?"

The Awesome Science Series is one that should be in every home library.  All age groups will benefit from the explanations, illustrations and spectacular scenery contained within this 30 minute DVD.

I received a DVD of Explore Yellowstone with Noah Justice free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Once a Month Cooking Cycle 4

Jen and I survived another round of Once a Month Cooking!  After several set backs, we gathered earlier this week and cranked out 29 meals for about $126 EACH family!

Once-A-Month Cooking OAMC Once A Month Cooking
Bowls, mixing cups and casserole dishes armed and ready!

Once-A-Month Cooking OAMC Once A Month Cooking
Condiments lined up.  Meats in the coolers.

Once-A-Month Cooking OAMC Once A Month Cooking
Another basket!  Veggies!
How'd we do it for less than $130/person?  In addition to saving money grating our own cheese, and making our own sauces, we also shop meat mark downs and sales.  Many times if meat is nearing the expiration date, the butcher will mark it down.  When we get meat this way, we take it home, cut it up, freezer bag it and freeze it if we will not be doing OAMC the next day.  Another tip is to use ground turkey instead of ground beef and modify recipes that call for chicken breasts with chicken legs and thighs.  Though not everyone wants to do go this route, but it saves a lot of money!

We've picked our favorites from previous cycles plus added many recipes from Greater Things!

To find out more, check out Why Once-a-Month Cooking? and Once a Month Cooking Tips.

Once-A-Month Cooking OAMC Once A Month Cooking
A full freezer and a happy Mom!

Many of our recipes are of the 'bag, dump and freeze ' for the crockpot variety.  We both have crazy schedules and this works best for our households.

Ranch Chicken Loaf
Pizza Rolls
Chicken Enchalada Casserole
Spinach Sausage Pie
Upside-down Fettucini Bake
Stuffed Peppers
Beef Stew
Apricot Pork Roast
Asian Chicken
Chicken Pot Pie
Smoothered Burritos
Quiche (Ham)
Quiche (Veggie)
White Chili
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Chicken Supreme
Apricot Chicken
Crockpot Chicken Creole
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Crockpot Sesame Ginger Chicken
Pork Chops and Gravy
Crockpot Chicken and Spinach
"Beef" Taco Soup
Chicken Burritos
Crockpot San Francisco Pork
Vegetable Soup with Meatballs
Joes to Go
Brown Sugar Chicken

Shopping List:

Browned Ground Turkey15 lbs
Raw Ground Turkey4 lbs
Beef Stew Meat6 lbs
Cooked, Chopped Chix24C
Chix parts30 lbs
Chix Breasts halves18 

Italian sausage3 lbs
Bacon12 slices
Pork chops24 chops
Pork Roast7 lbs

Sour Cream32 oz
Butter6 T
1/2 and 1/2 4C
Ricotta1 1/2 c
Cottage Cheese32 oz
Ched Cheese14c
Mont Jack5c
Parm Cheese2c

Salsa12 T
refried beans2 cans
picante7 oz
mushrooms6 cans
alfredo sauce2 cans
Tomato Sauce126 oz
Tomatoes175 oz
Tomatoe paste32 oz
Apricot jelly24 oz
Ranch dressing8 T
Great Northern Beans4c
Chix Gravy2 cans
Beef Gravy2 cans
Golden mushroom1 can
Beef Broth2 cans
Chix Broth  12 cups
corn starch
bread crumbs
tapioca1/2 c
brown sugar
white sugar
Ranch dressing mix3 packets
Taco seasoning

Cream mushroom soup2 c
Cream chicken soup10 c
pie crusts6
Pizza dough2 large
Rice3c cooked
Flour Tort48
Fettucini16 oz

Elbow16 oz
Ranch flavored tortilla chips3c  
ketchup2 c

soy sauce1c
seasame oil

white wine2 c

Bell peppers12 whole
18 c chopped
onions24 c chopped
garlic2 whole bulbs
lemon juice6T
celery2c chopped
matchstick carrots1 bag
baby carrots16 oz
fresh spinach1 large bag
Frozen corn1 large bag
Frozen mixed veggies2 large bag
Frozen Brocc40 oz
Frozen spinach20 oz
Soup veggies
1 large bag

Sesame seeds

Italian seasoning
chili powder
bay leaf


red pepper flakes