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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Five Minute Friday My Kids #fmf #amwriting

Friday is already gone & I didn't get my Five Minute Friday post written. So I'm taking 5 minutes on Saturday to write my Five Minute Friday post and I'm going to watch the time.

This weeks prompt is Five.

When Mike and I got married 26 years ago I wanted two kids, a boy and a girl. I got my boy first and then my little girl. I separated from the Air Force in Japan before Michael was born so I could stay home with the kids and life went on.

After moving to Cheyenne Mike decided he wanted to get out of the Air Force too. He hired on with Union Pacific Railroad and they moved us to Nebraska. As we settled into life here and started homeschooling I wanted more kids.

We ended up having 5 kids, so my Five Minute Friday is about my kids. I love spending my life learning with them and have enjoyed watching my two oldest develop into their adult life.

My favorite days are when I have all 5 of my kids together, which doesn't happen often. Playing games, hanging out, cooking their favorite foods.

I love that Michael and Morgan make a point to have a quality relationship with their three younger sisters. We all cherish our times together & they grow up so fast!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kids Email Review #hsreviews #kidsemail #emailforkids Annual Subscription
I can remember a world without the internet and setting up our very first email years ago. Our first thoughts were what are we even going to do with an email account. Now it seems like kids need an email account at a very young age. We recently started using the Annual Subscription from for Alaina's email account. 

Signing kids up for their own email is kind of a scary thing. I know how much junk mail I receive in mine and even with security settings someone can send them things their young minds don't need to know about. It isn't that way with This is the place where you can set up an email account for your child or teen and not have to worry about what they receive because you have control over their account. 

KidsEmail offers an account for teens and for children, and I signed Alaina up for the kids email. She can log into her account and I don't have to worry about what she is going to see. When she logs in she has the option of going to her inbox, writing emails, looking at her folders or contacts, and also her settings. She is able to add people to her contacts and create new folders to help organize her emails, but the only thing she has control over in settings is changing her background. Annual Subscription

The parent account on the other hand is very different. When I log in I have several options to make her experience more secure. 
  • Safety Settings ~ In this section I can make changes for each child or set the same ones for every child in my account. I can decide if she can receive emails from anyone who is not in her contact list, allow pictures, links, bad words, or attachments to be included in the email. I can even have every email sent to my inbox if I want to monitor them all. 
  • Manage Contacts~ I have access to add contacts in her account. 
  • Modify Look & Feel ~ There are 36 backgrounds that can be chosen for the child's account or they can change this from their login.
  • Child Account Settings~ This is basic information about the child and if they have a kids email or a teen email. 
  • Ground Child~ You can ground the child in this section for a certain day or a specific amount of time. 
  • Time Restrictions ~ Times can be set up where the child cannot use their email each day. This can be chosen for each day and will repeat each week. 
  • Blocked Senders~ If there is an email account that you do not want sending emails to your child you can add it here. 
  • Mail Queue ~In the settings you have a choice of approving or deleting each email that may be questionable. 
  • Activity Logs~ The logs kept here are from when each child logs into their account and a section for the whole family if you have multiple accounts. Annual Subscription
Alaina likes having her own email that she can use easily. She already has one email account, but it is used for her Apple ID and she actually gets a lot of junk in it, so she never looks at it. With a KidsEmail account she only gets emails that are from people we know. It is great knowing she isn't getting any emails with bad content or even just a bunch of junk that she has to weed through to find an email from her friends or her sister in Colorado. It didn't take long for Alaina to figure out how to use her account and she is loving changing her back ground and writing in different fonts. I am loving it because I know the people in her contacts aren't sending her stuff she shouldn't be reading or seeing. 

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Canning Salsa #canning #canningsalsa

My family loves homemade salsa and I try to can enough to last us all year. My husband and Amber love the first time I make salsa from our garden tomatoes each year and they both want their own bag of chips to go with it. It is like a holiday to them!! Here is the recipe they love:

10 lbs. tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
7 jalapenos (more or less to taste)
2 medium onions
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
4 teaspoons salt

Peel tomatoes by dipping in boiling water for 60 seconds and then dip in cold water. The peel should slide right off. Chop peeled tomatoes & vegetables into bite sized pieces and just heat it until it is hot. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes. Makes about 10 pints.

Salsa Day!! Does anyone else celebrate this holiday?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Five Minute Friday Listen #FMFParty #FiveMinuteFriday

The last couple of weeks some of my fellow bloggers on the Homeschool Review Crew have been talking about the Five Minute Friday blog party they participate in. Kate Motaung who blogs at Heading Home hosts this every week. The idea is to take five minutes and write about the one word she announces on Thursday evening. This is suppose to encourage people to write without spending a lot of time rewriting the blog post, it should only take five minutes. The official rules can be found over at Heading Home.


The word for this weeks Five Minute Friday is listen. For the most part I am more of a listener than a talker. If you ask my friends they will tell you that I am always willing to listen to them when they have problems or are excited about anything and they can pretty much call me anytime. 

I do sometimes let my mind wander when I should be listening. I hate to admit it but sometimes when my husband starts talking about working on the vehicles or when one of my kids try to tell me every detail from a book they read. There are even times in church I'll start thinking about what I need to get done when I get home. I can even read out loud and not hear a word of what I just read because I wasn't listening to myself. 

I am planning on being a more engaged listener to God, my husband, my kids, my family, and my friends even if I am not really interested in what they are saying. I might actually learn something.

What about you? 
What comes to your mind when given the word listen?   

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Afters Live On Forever CD Review & Giveaway #TheAfters #FlyBy #CDgiveaway

Music is large part of our world, it is everywhere. We hear it at the store, in the car, in commercials, people share their favorites on social media. Growing up I never really thought about the lyrics, but I can hear a song on the radio from 25 years ago and I can sing every word. The words in songs must have some impact on our lives even if we don't think they do. That is why I like music that has uplifting encouraging words. 

The new CD Live On Forever from The Afters music is upbeat and the lyrics are definitely encouraging and uplifting. 

When I was offered The Afters new CD Live On Forever my first thought was do I know any of their songs. My teenage daughter gave me that look......You know the teenager look!! She picked up her phone and played me some songs that I love that are by The Afters. 

Every Good Thing
Light Up The Sky
Lift Me Up

Then I couldn't wait for my new CD that was just released on September 9, 2016. We started listening and after we got to Time Of My Life my 11 year old kept repeating it. It is her favorite and I had to tell her to let the rest of the CD play. There are ten tracks:

Time Of My Life
Wake Up My Heart
Live On Forever
Eyes Of A Believer
When You're With Me

This new album is pop music that is very uplifting and encouraging. When The Afters started to record their new album they had several close friends experience tragedies. Including the band's soundman, Anthony Martinez, infant daughter's death. 

"If any theme has emerged, it would be 'inspiration and motivation,'" Josh Havens (lead singer), says. "Look at the titles we've selected: They reflect themes of 'rise up, get up, God has your back, you're not in this alone.' We thought, 'Let's encourage people and let this be a weapon for people's faith: something they can hold onto.'"

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The Afters will be touring with the Newsboys this fall to more than 45 cities.

I have an additional copy of The Afters new CD Live On Forever to giveaway to one of my lucky readers in the United States or Canada. I will pick a winner on September 22, 2016. 
Just enter the rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Canning Spaghetti Sauce #canning #homemadespaghettisauce

Every year I try to can enough spaghetti sauce to last us all year. There have been a few years when we haven't had enough tomatoes and we run out before our garden is ready again. Every time that has happened my kids will not even eat anything I make with store bought spaghetti sauce. The first few years I started canning I tried a few different recipes and our favorite and only one I have used for the last fifteen years or so I found in the Kerr Kitchen Cookbook.

Spaghetti Sauce 
30 lbs. tomatoes
1 cup green bell peppers
1 cup chopped onions
5 cloves of crushed garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoon oregano
4 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper

Peel tomatoes by dipping in boiling water for 60 seconds and then dip in cold water. The peel should slide right off. Run peeled tomatoes through a sieve or blender. I use a blender because it is faster & we don't mind the seeds. Saute peppers, onions, & garlic in olive oil until they are tender. Add sauteed veggies & everything else to the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cook on low until it is thick enough for serving, about 6 hours. Process in pressure canner according to manufacturers directions for 20 minutes for pints & 25 minutes for quarts. Makes 4-5 quarts.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Getting Started With French Review #hsreviews #homeschoolforeignlanguage #foreignlanguage #frenchcurriculum

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}
Delaney loves words. She loves vocabulary in English and she loves learning random words in foreign languages. When we were offered Getting Started With French from Armfield Academic Press she wanted to give it a try. 

Getting Started With French teaches beginning French for any age student wanting to learn the language. This course is a self-taught book with access to pronunciations MP3 files for each lesson. It was written to meet the needs of homeschooled students and self-taught individuals who do not have access to a teacher. William E. Linney first wrote Getting Started with Latin in the same manner. Once that was a huge hit he decided to consult other people to help him write Getting Started with Spanish and then Getting Started with French. 

There are 281 pages divided into 172 lessons in Getting Started with French along with a section on how to use the book, general advice, pronunciation guide, and an answer key. New words and concepts are introduced gradually in each lesson and there are exercises to review material from previous lessons. New vocabulary words are printed in bold type and hard to pronounce words have their description right there or you can always listen to the MP3 file and look in the pronunciation guide in the back of the book. 
The first few lessons start out discussing pronunciation, articles, gender, and the 'r' sound. After that the student starts learning vocabulary to be able to form sentences right away. Grammar is discussed throughout the book a little at a time and there are French expressions discussed that are known around the world. In the exercises the student has words to translate into English. To make the lessons a little harder they can also try and translate it back to French. 

Since this book is self-explanatory, self-paced, and self-contained I decided to just give it to Delaney (age 14) and see how she did. After the first few days I heard her working on her French vocabulary out loud and each day she began speaking a little louder and a little clearer as she gained more confidence in what she was saying. We received our book while we were still officially on summer break and Delaney started using the book several times a week. Once we got started in our new school year she has been using it every day and is already on lesson 34. She has been using a notebook to take notes in, write all of her new vocabulary words in, and the answers to the exercises problems. She has been using a pencil in her notebook, but the vocabulary words and other important things she writes in pen so that it will jump out at her if she is looking for something she previously learned. 
Delaney is my child that loves to write. She has also included in her notebook random Fake For Fun French Letters. She writes a letter to Pierre from Lori and then she replies to the letter. She writes it just as if she were writing to a pen pal, but she uses as many French words she knows and fills in with English words when she doesn't. Each time she has written one of these letters she has used more French words. 

Delaney really likes using this book. She was surprised at how much she is learning when the lessons only take a few minutes a day and are very easy for her. She didn't need any help figuring out how to use the book, or what was expected of her. The directions are very well written even when talking about grammar usage. This book is great for a beginning French student and one we will keep around for easy reference.  
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Getting Started With French

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}
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