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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Smash Cakes #lisacayscakes #babyfirstbirthday #smashcake



Babies first birthdays are so much fun especially when they have their very own cake. This pretty little cake was made twice for the same lucky little girl. She had a photo shoot and got to have fun and then had another one for her party. All the guests had cupcakes to match the smash cake.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Captive DVD Review and Giveaway #CaptiveMovie and #FlyBy


I like reading and watching stories that are true or based on true events. I just recently watched the Captive that is based on a true story of Ashley Smith and Brian Nichols. This movie shows us the lives of two people that continually make bad decisions in their lives. After Brian holds Ashley hostage in her own home he has her read a book that is laying on the table to him. That book happens to be The Purpose Driven Life. The book causes Brian to look at his own situation and gives himself up. After going through such a traumatic ordeal Ashley too decides what is truly important in her life as well.

I have never read The Purpose Driven Life, but God has a purpose for every person and that is what Brian and Ashley both realize from this book.

About the movie:
Based on a miraculous story about the power of faith, Captive is an "amazing, inspiring" drama about the spiritual collision of two lost souls, Brian Nichols (Golden Globe Nominee David Oyelowo), on the run from police and desperate to make contact with his newborn son, takes recently widowed mother Ashley Smith (Kata Mara) hostage in her own apartment.  Fearing for her life and desperately hoping to see her daughter again, she turns to Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life for guidance.  Ashley and her captor face a crossroads where they discover hope and light in the midst of despair in the moving film that Dick Rolfe, CEO, Dove Foundation hailed as "powerful." 

There are over 30 minutes of bonus content on this DVD including Journey Through Darkness: Filming Captive and Faith and The Purpose Driven Life.  Also included with this DVD is a Digital HD copy that can be instantly streamed and downloaded. 

DVD Release Date: January 5, 2016
Runtime: 96 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse) 



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~~~GIVEAWAY~~~
I have a copy of the Captive DVD to giveaway. 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.”

The Plans I Have for You Devotional Review and Giveaway #PlansIHave #FlyBy

 As soon as my kids learn to read I have them do their own devotions every day. It wasn't really for what they would learn from it, but to create a habit and practice reading on their own. We also have family devotions, and learn bible history as we learn world history. We recently received The Plans I Have for You Devotional and Journal for kids and Alaina wanted it for her own as soon as we opened it.

The Devotional and Journal were written by Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. The hardback devotional is recommended for children ages 8-12 and the Journal is for ages 11-14. The devotional helps kids to think about their future to see that God has a plan and purpose for them. It focuses on faith, love, and joy. The softcover journal encourages kids to look at their talents and personalities that make them special and to see how they can make the world a better place.

Both of these books are very colorful and fun for teens and preteens. I like the way they got Alaina thinking about more than what she is doing tomorrow. It helps her to start thinking about her future and how she can use what she likes now later in life. She is still young and many of her ideas probably won't happen, but at least she is learning to think about how to live her life for God.


About author Amy Parker:
Amy Parker has sold more than thirty books for children, teens, and adults.  She has also collaborated with authors ranging from New York Times bestsellers to her very own son.  Two of these collaborations are recipients of Christian retailing's Best Awards, and she has also won three Mom's Choice Awards.  But Amy's greatest reward is being a wife to Daniel and a mom to their amazing sons, Michael and Ethan. 

About illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton:
Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator, doll maker, and crafter.  Her passion for children's books began when she came across The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats as a child in the 1960s.  Growing up in a musical family who love to sing, Vanessa's illustrations are as fun and whimsical as a beautiful melody.  Vanessa currently makes her nest in Charlotte, NC with her husband of 20 years, their daughter, and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes.

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~~~ GIVEAWAY~~~
I have a copy of The Plans I Have For You Devotional and Journal to giveaway to one of my readers. 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.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

Passion Salvation's Tide is Rising Review and Giveaway #PassionSTIR #FlyBy

We have been going through our clothes and trying to declutter our closets. I'm so glad I had the new album from Passion to help pass the time (especially since my family made me put my Christmas CDs away). Since 1998 Passion albums have sold over 1.3 million units while introducing us to songs like "Our God", Holy Is The Lord", How Great Is Our God", and many more. Salvation's Tide Is Rising will be available on January 29, 2016.

This new album features songs written specifically for Passion 2016. There are recordings from some of my favorites Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, and Crowder. We love the music on this new album and the lyrics speak volumes.


1.  Salvation's Tide is Rising - Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill
2.  My Victory - Passion featuring Crowder
3.  Remember - Passion featuring Brett Younker & Melodie Malone
4.  God & God Alone - Passion featuring Chris Tomlin
5.  Simple Pursuit - Passion featuring Melodie Malone
6.  I Turn to Christ - Passion featuring Matt Redman
7.  Your Grace Amazes Me - Passion featuring Christy Nockels
8.  All We Sinners - Passion featuring Crowder
9.  Surrender - Passion featuring Jimi Cravity
10. Good Good Father - Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill 




~~~Giveaway~~~
I have one copy of this new CD to giveaway before it is released. 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.”

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Homeschooling for a Lifetime #homeschool #lifetimejob


Homeschooling has become a way of life for us. Learning is just something we do in our every day lives. Yes, we have curriculum, school days and homework but we are always learning. It is nothing for my kids to want to read for fun, play educational games, read the encyclopedia, or learn how to write in computer language just because they want to. That is one of my goals as a mother to create lifetime learners who are striving to make themselves better every day. 

Is that what I thought 20 years ago when I first started teaching Michael? 

I don't think so. The main reason I wanted to homeschool is because I love being a mom. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted out the of Air Force to be able to stay home with my kids. So when it came time for them to start school I just couldn't imagine them being gone all day. We had met a few families who were already homeschooling so it just seemed to be the best thing for us. 

Last month a homeschool mom asked me if I had thought about homeschooling for the biggest part of my lifetime when we first started. She wanted to know how old I would be when my last child graduates and if I had thought about that when we first started. My answer was no. I hadn't even thought about my first child graduating at that time much less my last one that wasn't even born. 

It doesn't matter what each of our reasons for homeschooling are, but if we continue year after year until all of our children are grown. That is a long time. 

If you would have asked me 20 years ago how long our family would have homeschooed I might have felt overwhelmed. My youngest daughter is 11, so when she graduates I will be 53. That means I would have homeschooled for 28 years. That is a career!! 

Would I have done things differently if I would have counted the costs and years of homeschooling my kids? No, I would do it all over again. How about you? How old will you be when your last child graduates?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

SchoolhouseTeachers Review 2016
The 2016 Schoolhouse Review Crew is getting underway and all the new Crew members are reviewing the Yearly Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com as their first official Crew review. Returning members aren't required to write a review about SchoolhouseTeachers.com but I think it is such a wonderful product for the homeschool family that I wanted to tell you why.


Plus I have a 50% coupon code to pass along if you would like to join.  

SchoolhouseTeachers.com has something for students in every grade and for mom. There are courses for every subject including electives and foreign languages. Some of the classes are shorter with only a few lessons and others cover the entire school year. Academic courses are not the only things you have access to, the site also includes The Schoolhouse Planners, record keeping, menus, monthly ebooks, video streaming, and back issues of TOS Schoolhouse Magazine along with many other things.

I have had a membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com from the very first year it started. I have used several things from the site and am planning on many more. We have used ebooks, guitar lessons, the planners, and the menu. Now that my girls are getting older we are getting ready to use the College Choice Guidance, Filmmaking, Logic, and Career Exploration. And a friend just gave us a violin, so as soon as we get the bow fixed we will be using the beginning violin lessons.
My girls and I like to keep track of our school work in a paper planner and calendar, so every new school year we spend a day looking through The Schoolhouse Planners picking and choosing what each kid would like in their planner. They all like the weekly planning pages, the attendance chart, the musical instrument practice sheets, and the book I've read sheets. Then they choose things that they want to reference for that school year. Alaina has pages about animal classification, types of poetry, parts of speech, and the multiplication chart in her planner for this year.

I have made recipes from the monthly menus, but we usually just pick and choose which ones we like. We don't actually follow the entire months menu. That works better for our family because we buy a cow once a year, so sometimes we need to eat a lot of beef before we buy other types of meats. So far all the ones we have tried have been huge hits around here.

Amber is the one who is taking the guitar course. She already plays piano and knows a lot about music, so these weekly lessons have been very easy for her to follow. There are sheets to download, written instructions with pictures, and video segments. Amber accessed her lessons on the iPad, so she could sit more comfortably on the couch. She doesn't play her guitar as much as I would like for her to, but having these lessons has helped her get started. 


I had my kids look around the site and asked them what they wanted to work on. They are all so different, but they decided they wanted to work on How to Write and Produce a Play and Filmmaking.  They are always acting out scenes from their favorite movies or books and Delaney writes stories for fun. We might be having some very interesting entertainment around here.

 
I love that the courses are taught by different people from all different backgrounds. Some of the teachers are certified teachers,  homeschool moms, some were homeschooled themselves, and some have professional careers such as attorneys, presidents of companies, accountants, and artists.


SchoolhouseTeachers.com is my favorite go to resource when I make our planners, when I am looking for something to round out our school year, or when my kids finish a subject early we search the site to find a short course to continue their education for the semester.

Membership is available monthly or yearly. Monthly is $12.95 and Yearly is $139, but if you use the coupon code: CREWFOLLOWER you will get 50% off the Yearly subscription.

 


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SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review 2016
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wordless Wednesday Jan 6

My girls decided to put their Christmas money together and purchase a WiiU.

We had so much fun the first night we had it. We love playing against each other in Nintendo Land.

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