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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wordless Wednesday Apples #apples #gardening #canning

Apples from our dwarf tree!!


Spiritual CircleJournalReview #hsreviews #spiritualcirclejournal #journal #prayerjournal #spiritualcirclejournalforkids #kidsjournal

Spiritual Circle Journal
When my kids were very young I had them start writing in a journal. If they weren't much into writing I would have them write a few words and draw a picture. A couple of my kids love to write and draw in their journals and a couple of my kids hate writing in one. Alaina is one of them that doesn't care to write in her journal every day. When I first saw that Spiritual Circle Journal was offering the Crew the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids & Teens to review I thought Alaina might like it because it would help her know what to write about. 
This journal is a little different from a regular journal. This is a spiritual journal to teach kids how to make the most out of their daily quiet time. It is intended to help kids eight and older to examine their life and to see how God is leading them. By writing their thoughts down in the journal helps them to see that an invisible relationship with God is very visible in their lives. The fun shapes that are on every page keep the journal fun for the child. 
There are 94 pages in the journal. It is printed on heavier paper than some journals which makes it great if your child likes to use colorful markers in their journal. There are three pages written to the parent/teacher/leader to instruct them how to use the journal and how to make their relationship with God visible in their own lives. There is a personal page where the child can enter facts about themselves and some of their favorite things in their life right now. There are sixty-five pages with different shapes to journal the thoughts for the day. There is also sixteen pages at the end of the journal where the child can journal about the lessons they have learned while using their Spiritual Circle Journal, write their favorite Bible verses, Bible characters or how they have seen God in the details of their lives.

On each journal page there are nine fun shapes that make journaling fun. Each shape should be used for the same thing each time it is written in. For example the book shape is for verses from songs, the bible, or from any where that you currently like or has been speaking to you. The purse is used to write in things you are praying for, the shoe is for action in the child's life, and the heart is for confessing wrongs they have committed. The pages are printed in black ink and Alaina loves to color the shapes as she is filling them in. The main page has the title for each shape written on it, but the journaling pages just have initials on each shape. There is also a page filled in that was written by an eleven year old that can be used as a reference if she couldn't think of what type of thing to write where. 
Alaina is eleven and she has really enjoyed using this journal for kids. She has taken a couple of days to fill in each journal page because she spends time making each one look the way she wants it to. It has been easy for her to write a little every day because she knows what type of things she needs to write and she knows it has to fit in the shape so it doesn't have to be very long. It took her a couple of times to remember what should be written in which shape, so she would reference the front page to double check. 

I love how much this journal teaches, but is still very simple. It really makes bible journaling easy for kids of all ages. Alaina already has her own quiet time in the morning reading her bible and praying and adding this spiritual journal has not added a lot of extra time, but it is helping her to see God's hand in her life. 
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Italian Sodas Wordless Wednesday

Italian Cream Sodas
Sometimes you just need something special.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flipstir Puzzle Review #hsreviews #shakestirsolve

FlipStir Puzzles Reviews
I love puzzles and our newest one is a little different, it is the 3D Solar System FlipStir Puzzle from Enlivenze LLC.

This 3D puzzle is self-contained and is called a FlipStir because you flip it to stir up the pieces. My puzzle is a Level 2 and it has 10 pieces. Each piece is a half circle with a sticker on the flat part to make that the picture. The pieces are wavy on the top and bottom to fit snuggly with each other. There is an wand that sticks out of a hole in the top of the container with a boot on the end. That is how you move the pieces around to complete the puzzle. Our puzzle when completed made the Solar System. 
Our puzzle came while the girls were at youth camp which was perfect because we had a soccer weekend coming up and would be in the car for several hours. I took our FlipStir along. No one played it in the car, but it was perfect to have at the condo we had rented. We weren't inside much, but there were 7 of us (we had a few extras) staying there and we had to wait on everyone to shower and get ready. That gave us plenty of time to give the puzzle a try. Some of us really enjoyed the puzzle and a few of the kids were really frustrated.  
There was great happiness when the first person completed the puzzle.
There are five 3D FlipStir puzzles in two different levels currently available. The pictures are Rainbow Pencils, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Solar System, Periodic Table, and the Statue of Liberty. Level 1 puzzles have flat edges. This makes stacking the pieces a little easier than the level 2 puzzle that has wavy edges. The puzzles are recommended for anyone ages 7 and up. 

Several awards have been given to the Enlivenze FlipStir puzzles including family awards, puzzle awards, parenting awards, toy and game awards. 

These puzzles are a great to leave sitting out on the coffee table for those times when you only have a few minutes to do something, but you don't want to mess with getting out a puzzle with all those loose pieces. They are also great for traveling and I think they would be fun to have several of them and race to see who can complete theirs first. 

Members of the Review Crew were given four puzzles to review. Make sure you head over to the Crew blog to read how they enjoyed their FlipStir puzzle.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday Italian Soda #Macaronigrill #sisterlove #italiansode

Enjoying an Italian Soda!!!


Foreign Language for Kids by Kids Review #hsreviews #foreignlanguage #homeschoolspanish

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
Reviewing homeschool curriculum has been a great experience for my girls and I. Sometimes we review things we need and are more serious sometimes we review fun games and sometimes we review curriculum that is fun. Our newest review item is the Spanish Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids and it is one of those fun school products. 

Kit Strauss is a homeschool mom and a lawyer. She developed Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids when she couldn't find what she wanted to teach her own children. She uses the immersion method by using activities that children are involved in every day. 
Spanish Starter Set 1 comes with:
  • Basketballs aren't for Breakfast
  • Spanish Level 1 Guide for Teachers and Parents 
  • The Little Magic House Part 1
  • Spanish Level 2 Guide for Teachers and Parents
  • The Little Magic House Part 2
  • Spanish Level 3 Guide for Teachers and Parents 
  • Spanish Levels 1-3 DVD 
  • Sticker Set
  • Flashcards
  • Go Squish Cardgame! only included for a limited time.
Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
The basis of the program is the video segment. The videos show us a weekend day of a family and starts at 8:00 in the morning and continues through the day until the children head to bed. We see the conversations they have with each other as they go through the day. The entire video is spoken in Spanish, but by using household objects the children know what is being said. At the end of each video there is a Rapid Review that reviews the vocabulary. The student will not remember everything from watching the video once, they will learn it through repetition.

The video and the Rapid Review are the two parts that have to be completed in the program. The rest is optional and students may or may not use them all. An older student that knows some Spanish may just complete these two and move on. A younger student that has no Spanish knowledge may want complete all the activities. The Guide for Teachers and Parents gives details to help you with each lesson. It is suggested that you complete one lesson twice a week. The lesson instructions tells us about how long it will take to complete each one. There is also a list of all the vocabulary words and lists the activities that should be completed such as workbook pages, geography, and when to use the stickers. 
Alaina loving the stickers!!

The student workbooks have glossy full color pages, they are very pleasing to look at. They work on the words that were in the video segment and cover grammar and geography. There are puzzles, charts, matching, and fill in the blank sentences. The answers to each worksheet is in the back of the book. The sticker pack is included to allow the student to mark the things in their own home with the Spanish name for it for constant review. The Squisher needs to earn enough bonus miles to earn a free airline ticket to visit his friend in The Go Squish Cardgame! It is similar to Go Fish and is recommended for 2-4 players.

My older two girls have had some Spanish in the past. Delaney knows more than any of the others & Alaina knows very little. All three of my girls watched the video segment reserving the activities and workbook pages for Alaina. Of course some of the activities and the card game are more fun if they all play. Alaina has been retaining more words than I thought she would very easily. Just watching the video segments have really helped the other two review a lot of what they already know and have added some new words to their vocabulary. 

Foreign Language for Kids by Kids is exactly that. The video segments include kids that do most of the talking in the video segments that make it very pleasing to other kids. The colorful workbooks are very appealing to children both visually and work content as well. This would make a great addition to any family that is wanting to learn to speak Spanish.  
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Foreign Language for Kids by Kids
Spanish Starter Set 1
Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Homeschool Planning School year 2016-2017 #homeschoolcurriculum #homeschoolplanning

Schools are already starting everywhere. We haven't started yet and will not officially start until the end of the month. We always have our official start and end dates even though we still use review items, practice their instruments, work on their cooking and art skills all summer. Between homeschooling for 21 years and reviewing homeschool curriculum we have a large selection to choose from. Even though I pretty much know what I'm going to have each kid use for the upcoming school year I still like to make piles all over the family room floor. 

Some of our choices for this year we have actually already started and really want to finish them. All three of my girls will be using Notgrass Exploring America. Alaina will only be using the history portion because we all study that together, and I will choose other books for her to read. They will also all be using Poetry Memorization. I think the rest of our curriculum this year will include these titles:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Queen of KATWE Review

I'm always on the lookout for a good inspiring books to read or for my children to read. I just finished reading Queen of KATWE by Tim Crothers.

This story takes us the the slums of Katwe in Uganda where we learn of a young missionary named Katende. He was a war refuge and was one of the lucky ones to make it out of the slums and return to teach other children there. We see how Robert Katende struggled to eat and be able to stay in school throughout his own life. After obtaining a job with Sports Outreach Institute he went back to the slums to teach the kids to play soccer. Some children were not healthy enough to play soccer so Katende came up with a plan to teach them how to play chess. Each day after playing soccer he would give the children a cup of porridge and teach them the game of chess. Some of the kids only continued to come in order to some food. There was one 9 year old girl that really stood out in learning the game. Phiona Mutesi caught on to the game very quickly and started beating all the other children. Katende entered a group of slum children in a local tournament and it was very successful. Phiona beat everyone she played and her mother was very pleased when she brought home some well needed prize money. Winning the tournaments allowed Katende's team of slum children to travel by plane to compete in other countries. To those children they were not only playing and winning at the game of chess they were stepping into a completely different world.

I have heard of the Sports Outreach Institute before, but I have never looked into what they have accomplished or ever guessed that chess would be one of the tools they use to reach young people. Disney will be turning this book into a major motion picture soon and I hope they stay true to the story. This story is an inspiration to not only young girls but to all people no matter what their upbringing may be. This book is a must read and shows how setting your mind on something and working on it every day can and will change your life.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Queen of KATWE free of charge from BuzzPlant in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Family Camp 2016

Every year my family goes to the mountains in CO for a church family camp. We always enjoy this time away to hear preaching and teaching of the word of God. We also enjoy the fellowship we have with other Christians from around the world. The scenery is so beautiful and peaceful. This is the first year we have seen moose close to the cabins. This one above hung out of and on all week and on the last day there were actually three of them.
The deer were right outside of our cabin. They passed by every day and sometimes we saw them a couple of times a day. I am already looking forward to going again next year.

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