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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Five Minute Friday Steady #iamwriting #fmf

This week the Five Minute Friday prompt is Steady. My daughter Delaney is a guest post for my blog this week.


Steady. 

What does it mean to be steady?

What are you steady in? 

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself is my life steady? 

How can I change my life to be steady? 

Ever wonder If you're living the right way, if you have a steady job, maybe you're scared your boss is on the verge of firing you, Ask yourself if you have a relationship going steady with someone? Maybe there are ways you can make it more steady, stronger, more trustful. 

Steady is defined as firmly fixed, supported, immovable, anchored, 

It can refer to many things I suppose, You just have to apply it to the things you think you need to be steadfast in the most. 

~Delaney
     

Thank you, Delaney, for writing today's post. Thank you, Kate, for hosting the Five Minute Friday Prompt. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Adventures of Rush Revere Review #hsreviews #history #AmericanHistory


Adventures of Rush Revere

My kids have always loved reading historical fiction, add in a little time travel and that makes them even better. We had heard of the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series but we hadn't read any of them until we received them to review from Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh.
Rush Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn Adams Limbaugh have written five books in the Rush Revere series. They are recommended for children ages 8-12 and they take us on a time-traveling adventure when we go rush, rush, rushing to history. The stories are about a substitute American History teacher with a time traveling talking horse named Liberty. Rush always dresses in historical costume to get the children more excited about history and so he is appropriately dressed when he rushes back in time. Each time they time-travel Liberty will announce "Rush, rush, rushing to history". A circular portal of swirly purple and gold opens up and someone will announce the place and date they want to travel to. After going through the portal they are back in time and we get to meet real people from American History.
When we received our package we were immediately impressed that this company pays attention to detail and wanted to make our package a little extra special. Our books arrived tied in a Rush Revere blue ribbon. Each book is hard bound with 200-250 colored glossy pages that are tinted brown to look like old parchment paper. There are colored pictures of the characters of the book, photos of people from history, landmarks, maps, documents, and artifacts. Not only do the books contain real information from history but they are also very pleasing to look at and fun to read. 

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims is the first book in the series. Rush Revere's real name is Rusty but all his friends call him Rush Revere because he loved history so much when he was in school that he would rush to class and he is a big fan of Paul Revere. In this book, we travel back in time to be on board the Mayflower in 1620. We get to experience what it was like that first winter, join in on the first Thanksgiving, and meet William Bradford, Myles Standish, Squanto, Massasoit, and other great people. We really liked the pictures in this book the cutaway of the Mayflower, the labeled maps, and the artifacts really help kids see history. 

Rush Revere and the First Patriots take us to 1765 before the start of the American Revolution. We are introduced to great men that defy British rule and stand up for liberty. Not only do we meet great Americans like Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere we also travel to England and meet King George III. 

Rush Revere and the American Revolution is the third book in the series. Liberty takes us to the year 1775 and we get to see the two lanterns hung in the Old North Church experience battles and the midnight ride of Paul Revere. We get to meet George Washington when he was the commander in chief of the Continental Army, and witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This book also helps Cam, one of the time traveling students, understand why his dad is off fighting in Afghanistan in the twenty-first century. 

Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner starts by taking us to 1787 to witness the debates over the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and then to 1814 to defend our liberty. Of course, we are introduced to Betsy Ross in this book along with Francis Scott Key. One of the time traveling kids named Tommy has a grandfather that is ill, to take his mind off of his grandfather Rush plans to take Tommy and some of the other kids on a field trip to Washington DC where they visit The National Mall, the Washington Monument, and the National Archives.   

Rush Revere and the Presidency is the fifth book in the series. Cam is one of the time-traveling students in Rush's history class. He wants to run for student-body president so Liberty takes them back in time to visit past Presidents and the first ladies. Cam soon realizes that being president is more about serving others than about glory for himself. 
Some kids think history can be boring, but the Rush Revere books are a fun way for students to learn history. They are fun, full of true facts about famous people, places, and events. Since none of us had read any of these books I decided to read one out loud. I let Alaina choose which one and she wanted me to read Rush Revere and the First Patriots and now she is reading the rest of them herself. She loves humor in books. She can remember the funny details of any book, movie, or conversation and then that helps her remember the other details that she also learned. 


Adventures of Rush Revere
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Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series {Reviews}
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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Morgan's Photography

Morgan has enjoyed taking pictures ever since she was little. Now that we are into the digital age she takes thousands of pictures. She was recently contacted to write a Journal entry for The Explored Co. She chose to write about beaches in California.

She has come a long way since she used to make me hold the umbrella over her camera in the rain so she could get a good picture of the raindrops in the puddle.

If you like looking at nature photography you really should check out her social media pages.



She also has a stunning elk photo in the 2017 Wildlife Photo Contest. She would appreciate your votes. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Internship for High School Credit Review #hsreviews #highschool #highschoolcredit #internship


Apologia Educational Ministries
Time flies, and there are so many things for our teenagers to think about. What to study in high school? What about college? Summer jobs? Volunteering? How about internships? I have been reading the new Internship for High School Credit from Apologia Educational Ministries to help us understand them more.

Internship for High School Credit
When I think of internship I usually think more along the lines of a specific craft. I have operated an in-home cake decorating business for many years. My kids started helping when they were young and gradually learned more as they got older and were more capable of the task. Through the years some of my kids loved helping out and some of them hated it. Actually, my 12-year-old is my artist and is wonderful at modeling fondant figures. I see this as an internship and I guess I should have given all my kids credit for that. Oops! But really an internship can be with any company or professional. The main point of internships is for our high school students to gain work experience and the opportunity to explore different careers before deciding what they would like to do with their lives and before wasting time and money on college. My son is in college and he is already looking into some internships for next summer and now we are thinking of internships for my high school kids.

The Internship for High School Credit is Practical Help to Explore and Direct Your Career Plans written by Sherri Seligson. The purpose of the book is to walk parents and students through the internship process. It is a 100-page spiral bound workbook divided into five parts. Part 1 & 2 are about getting started and information for the parents. The rest of the chapters are to be used while participating in an internship and focuses on two semesters and a course wrap-up. There are weekly worksheets, questions, and activities that help the student list their goals and record their experiences, and the time involved. The course wrap-up has the student writing an essay about their experience, writing a thank you note to their supervisor, and how to use their internship to update their resume. Since my kids have not participated in an internship yet we read the introduction and the first two parts. I will have Amber complete the consumable workbook sections once she has an internship.

The book defines internship and walks you through each step of the internship process.  There is information on choosing a company or individual that relates to what you would like to do as a career. Everything is covered including how to prepare for an interview, how to figure out how many credits it is worth, writing a resume with a cover letter, and even pointers for before, during, and after the interview.

The section for parents answers questions that parents may have about internships. It includes things to look for about the location of an internship, child labor laws, and probably the most helpful is how to document them on the student's transcript including the course title, number, grades, and the number of credits.

If I were to choose a career right now I'm not sure I would know what I want to do so when Amber tells me she is unsure what she wants to do I totally get that. Delaney, on the other hand, has always wanted to sell real estate. I do have a friend that sells in our town and next summer after she turns 16 I will purchase her a workbook so that she can contact my friend and see if she is willing to let Delaney intern with her. Whether my teens decide they want to attend college or not I want them to seek internships to not only gain some work experience but to also see if they would like to make that job their career.

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I have reviewed several products from Apologia and this time the Homeschool Review Crew received Internship for High School Credit and How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook to review. You can read those reviews on the Crew Blog.

Homeschool with Confidence & Internship for High School {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}
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Friday, June 9, 2017

Five Minute Friday Expect #amwriting #fmf



The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is Expect. 

Back in March we were foreseeing the end of our school year and looking forward to summer break. Days of sleeping in, reading books all afternoon, playing more games, and taking fun trips just like every other summer. I had already started thinking about what we want to study in the fall, if there is still anything we can all do together, what do they still need help with. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

I just expect things to stay the same. I love being able to stay home with my kids all these years & spend every day with them for school. But they grow up and start making their own decisions.

Amber turned 16 in March & on her birthday she applied for a summer job at Cody Park working in the concession stand and running the little kid rides. She was hired and has been working 40 hours a week! And it wasn't much longer and she asked if she could take some classes at the college. She didn't want to go full time but a couple of classes for dual credit.

I just expected things would stay the same for at least two more years.

I know that my days with my kids being home are limited and I want to make the most of those days.

Next year Delaney will turn 16. Will she want to get a job & take some classes at the college too? I don't know, but whatever she decides to do I am fine with.

I can't expect things to stay the same.

I have done my job as a parent and a teacher when they want to spread their wings and figure out who they are and who they will become.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Nature's Beautiful Order Review #hsreviews #memoriapress #classicalchristianeducation #classicalhomeschooling #classicalchristianhomeschooling




Memoria Press
Memoria Press offers classical Christian homeschool curriculum and we have reviewed a few of their products over the years. This time the Homeschool Review Crew was offered several titles to choose from including Latin programs for elementary to high school and The Book of Trees. I talked to my girls and Alaina wanted to review Nature's Beautiful Order




Nature’s Beautiful Order
Nature's Beautiful Order is an introduction to the study of animals taught by classical naturalists. This course is actually a branch of biological science called natural history and is a preliminary to biology. By studying natural history students gain a love for beauty and an appreciation of intelligent animals. It seems like people today are more interested in man-made things and technology than nature itself, but our ancestors were more familiar with the created world around them.  That is why this course uses the writings of Aristotle, John James Audubon, Jean-Henri Fabre, and St-George Mivart throughout the course. It is recommended for grade 6-9 and includes the Student Textbook, a Student Guide, and a Teacher Key. 

The student text is an 187-page softcover book divided into 18 chapters. The student guide is a 51-page consumable workbook that has comprehension questions for each chapter and the teacher key looks the same as the student guide except the answers are included. 
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 ~ What Is An Animal
  • Chapter 2 ~ The Lobster
  •  Chapter 3~ The Cuttlefish
  • Chapter 4 ~ The Sea Urchin
  • Chapter 5 ~ The Bee
  • Chapter 6~ The Trout
  • Chapter 7 ~ The Frog
  • Chapter 8 ~ The Turtle
  • Chapter 9 ~ The Canadian Goose
  • Chapter 10 ~ The Miracle of Flight
  • Chapter 11 ~ Day's Herald Bird
  • Chapter 12 ~ Birds at Home
  • Chapter 13 ~ The Groundhog
  • Chapter 14 ~ The White-Tailed Deer
  • Chapter 15 ~ The Carnivora
  • Chapter 16 ~ Farm Friends
  • Chapter 17 ~  Man the Upright Animal
  • Chapter 18 ~ Man the Steward
I had Alaina use this curriculum. Not only did she learn about different animals she also learned history of animals as well as some Greek and Latin words. The course started with not just defining what an animal is but compares living things to non-living things. The first animal discussed is the domestic cat, its history, and basic facts about its life because children are familiar with cats. The lower animals, invertebrates, are studied next then moving on to the bee we then study about the higher animals, vertebrates, starting with the fish then moving to mammals, and ending with man. Since this is written from a Christian perspective the last chapter covers man's stewardship. 


Alaina wanted to read the text herself, but it would also be a great book to read out loud especially if your child is younger or if you want your younger kids to listen as well. The course itself is very easy to use. If your child is an independent learner like Alaina you don't have to get anything ready. The comprehension questions can be answered in a couple of sentences and I really like that there are history and vocabulary in each chapter, but it is very easy to understand and isn't overwhelming. I think by adding in the history and the Greek and Latin words make the course more fun. Alaina read the text and answered the questions then she made sure we all heard what new words she learned that the rest of us did not know. 

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If you want your children to have a classical education Memoria Press has some great resources to use in your school. The Homeschool Review Crew reviewed eight products this time and you can read those reviews on the Crew Blog



Latin, Nature and Trees {Memoria Press Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer


Friday, June 2, 2017

Five Minute Friday Future #amwriting #fmf



The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is Future.

I have been thinking a lot about the future lately. One day a couple of months ago it dawned on me that my youngest child is already 12!! That may not mean much to most people, but my oldest is 26! We have always homeschooled and now I am on the downhill side of it. I know the next six years will fly by and then what? 

Where will all five of my kids be? 

What will I do with my time? 

What about my house? Will we stay in it? 

My husband will still have six years to work after she turns 18 before he can retire. Do I get a job for those six years? My husband says I'll be too busy traveling to see my kids. He is probably right. 

It just seems unreal to think about what the future holds. 

Right now my kids have friends over and I can hear their chatter and laughter from the other room. We just made brownies because one of their friends never gets to bake at home. I will miss not having this in my life. 

I am afraid my house will be eerily quiet! 

And empty! 

I know my job is for them to grow up and move out, but I'm not sure I'll be ready. 

If you want to participate in Five Minute Friday or just read what other people have to say about Future stop over to Kate's blog.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

YWAM Jacob Deshazer Review #hsreviews #YWAMPublishing #ChristianHeroes #ChristianBiographies #Truebiographies #HeroesofHistory #HeroBiographies #TrueStories #ChristianHeroesThenandNow #Homeschoolcurriculum #Teachthemwell

YWAM Publishing
I think my kids remember history better when we add good quality biographies to our studies. We were recently given our choice out of several biographies from the Christian Heroes: Then & Now from YWAM Publishing. Since my husband and I lived in Japan for four years we decided we wanted to read Christian Heroes- Jacob Deshazer
YWAM Publishing
Jacob Deshazer was one of the Doolittle Raiders who first attacked Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Jacob grew up as a shy hardworking boy on his families wheat farm. When he was eight years old his mother bought him and his brother a brand new pair of overalls. Normally Jacob and his brother had to wear hand me down clothes remade to fit them, so they were all proud of their new clothes. When he wore them to Sunday School the teacher told them that overalls were not appropriate for church and that they should wear their best clothes to honor the Lord. Jacob was humiliated and he couldn't figure out why his new clothes weren't good enough for God. It would be many years before he would become a missionary. At twenty-seven years old Jacob decided to join the Army before he got drafted to fight in WWII. He would serve our country on an important secret mission with the Doolittle Raiders. We get to see how he was treated while a prisoner of war and how he learns what it is really like to serve God. 

YWAM also produces study guides for their Christian Heroes and Heroes of History biographies. We received the PDF download of the Jacob Deshazer Unit Study Curriculum Guide. When you first access the study guide it opens in a web browser where you have access to the study guide, a section about Jacob, and information about the authors. Some study guides also have bonus material of crossword puzzles, word searches, and coloring pages. They are adaptable for multiple grade levels and different learning styles. Everyone will go through the unit studies at a different pace. There is enough information for further study and plenty of assignments to last awhile or you can do the minimum to finish it quickly. 

The unit study for Jacob contains two parts. The first part is the 77-page curriculum guide and the second part contains a fact sheet for Japan, and blank maps of the US & Japan. There are eight chapters to cover history, geography, essay writing, creative writing, reading comprehension, public speaking, drama, and art plus a section of additional books and resources for further study.
  1. Key Bible Verses~ This section contains Bible verses that can be memorized, studied, and made into something to display. 
  2. Display Corner~ It is recommended to have a place to keep and display the things you complete or gather during this unit study. There are also suggestions of things to include. 
  3. Chapter Questions ~ There are six questions for each of the nineteen chapters of the book. 
  4. Student Explorations~ This sections includes assignments that the children can be more creative in including art, essay topics, creative writing, hands-on projects, and more. 
  5. Community Links~This chapter encourages you to get out in your community. There are recommended things to do and how to prepare for them. 
  6. Social Studies~ There are four sections here that include places mentioned in the story, map studies, vocabulary, geography, and conceptual questions. 
  7. Related Themes to Explore~ There are suggested topics that will allow you to study related topics while learning about Jacob.
  8. Culminating Event~ When kids are excited about something they want to show off their hard work. This section gives ideas how students can plan an event to finish off this unit study. 
Jacob Deshazer: Forgive Your Enemies is a 221-page softcover book with nineteen chapters. I chose to read the book out loud to my girls during our daily read aloud time. We also answered the chapter questions together and discussed things we had just read. Since we lived in Japan for four years before our three youngest girls were born we were able to also talk about how some things were during the time we lived there. This also gave us an excuse to get out some of our yen and other mementos we still have. 

We have studied WWII and the Doolittle Raiders before, but we had never studied Jacob Deshazer. Not only did we learn more about how Japan treated their prisoners, but this biography gave us a good example of forgiving your enemies. Forgiveness not only with our words but with our actions that follow. 

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Christian & History Heroes {YWAM Publishing Reviews}
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Friday, May 26, 2017

Five Minute Friday Visit #amwriting #fmf


I haven't participated in the Five Minute Friday for a couple of weeks, but I want to start back up. This week my 15-year-old daughter, Delaney is going to guest post. She loves to write and she always has a story or two going. She has finished several short stories and she had one published in The Phoenix literary magazine. The Pen of Mr. Biro, it is on page 38, be sure and read it. I hope you enjoy her writing.

This weeks prompt is Visit.

Visiting...what's one place, no matter where you are, what city, town or state you're at do you like to visit?

For me, I'd say it's coffee shops, who doesn't like to go there am I right?

The whiff of coffee you inhale as soon as you step in, and hear that bell above the door ching, the sound of the coffee bean grinder whoozing, and the foamy milk being steamed. No matter if you plan on getting a plain coffee, a latte, or frappuccino you always leave with a cup of greatness. Caramel is my favorite, or Toffee Nut that's the best in frappuccinos!

The shops are always a good stop when you've been shopping at an outside mall and it suddenly starts raining, if you're on a roadtrip, or even if you leave your house purely for the sake of having one because you felt like it at that moment of the day. They're always so cozy too, filled with books, photographs, paintings, comfy couches and good conversation.

Every shop you visit alway has its own unique twist about it, which is one of the things I love most, next to the actual coffee that is, each coffee shop is guaranteed to be different. Not only is the coffee itself good it's an art, something that takes time, and care to make to turn out so tasty and delicious, the creativity and gentleness to get the steamed milk to the right temperature and just the right amount of foam for the specific drink you ordered.

One of my absolute favorite things is the latte art, though it's all really an art the pictures and shapes made of foam. Have you ever visited one where they made a heart on the top of your latte if you sit in? Or maybe you've had the chance to visit a top of the line coffee shop where the barista carefully took the time to do something 3D? That would be amazing to actually see in real life, I've never had the opportunity to have one like that or visit a coffee shop that was that fancy but if I ever hear or learn of one close I'll be sure to visit it! I'd be posting pictures and videos on social media for days! Just kidding, I'm not that bad. But you know how it is right? You see something pretty, or beautifully plated and you take a picture, see what I mean? The object you just took a picture of took time, and care, to be made up so perfectly, and coffee is a very good example.
~Delaney


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Typing Coach Review #typing, #thetypingcoach #typinglessons #onlinetypinglessons


The Typing Coach
I took typing while I was in high school, but not everyone chose to take it. Now that computers are in almost every home and are used so much for school and work I think everyone should learn to type now. We recently received access to The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach to review. 

The Typing Coach
The Typing Coach has been pretty easy to use once I got it figured out. It is just a straightforward typing program that doesn't have any distractions. This course focuses on practice and test taking to either learn to type or improve your typing by increasing your words per minute without looking at the keyboard or making mistakes. It is set up to complete one lesson per week for ten weeks. You will need internet access, a computer program that allows you to type, and a keyboard. I didn't actually use software with this, but Alaina just typed in a blank Google Doc. To start I watched a short introduction and then printed off the Student Packet, Learning Checks, and the Progress Chart. 

I used this program with Alaina who is 12 years-old. She didn't know much about typing when she started. She knew where her hands should be, but she really just typed each letter with whichever finger she wanted while looking at the keyboard. To start with she took Before Snapshot just to give her a base number of what she could type. Since she is a beginner she didn't really need to take this at first, but she wanted to. You are allowed 3 minutes to type the Gettysburg Address for this test. There are 7 lessons and the student should master the test for each one before moving on to the next one. There is also a section for Serious Practicing, the Final Assessment, and the Course Evaluation and Feedback at the end. 
  1. Having Good Posture
  2. Home Row
  3. Top Row
  4. Bottom Row
  5. Shift Keys
  6. Typing Practice
  7. Number Row
Each lesson starts with an audio lesson that lasts 20-30 minutes and uses the Student Packet. The audio explains where to place your fingers on the keyboard and instructions are given on which finger to use to type each letter. If you do not feel comfortable typing all the letters without looking at the keyboard you can repeat the audio lesson again. Next, you will type the lessons from the student pack. Once you can type the lessons without looking at the keyboard or monitor you can then head to the testing center. The test is timed and typed in the Typing Coach program. Accuracy is the key and you are encouraged to not move on until you can type the whole test in the allotted time with only one mistake.


Alaina was my primary user for this program, but since it can be used with multiple students in each household Amber and Delaney wanted to do the test to see how many words per minute they could already type. They didn't actually use the program as intended since they already knew how to type they just practiced each section a couple of times and then retested instead of spending an entire week on each lesson. Alaina worked through each lesson as intended before she took the tests.

The audio is very slow so that a beginning student can follow along which was good for Alaina. She went back a redid one of the audio lessons and that time she wished it was a little faster. The typing practices were nice, they could work at their own speed to allow for plenty of time to master each key. They all three got a little frustrated with the tests. The errors indicated were not always the mistakes that were made. One test she missed the semi-colon and the test results said she missed a space and had an extra letter. Most of the time she would realize she had a made a mistake and would want to backspace to delete the wrong character but she could not. After completing a couple of tests she started to get the hang of how it worked and was doing a lot better.


If you are looking for just a typing program without a lot of distractions and frills then this could be the program you are looking for. At only $17 per year, it is a very affordable way to either learn to type or improve your speed. 


The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Thin Stix Review & Giveaway #hsreviews #MessFreeCreativity #ThinStix







The Pencil Grip, Inc
Alaina is a very crafty kid, she loves to make cards, draw, color, craft, and she is always wanting to try new arts and crafts things. Her newest art supply is the Thin Stix 6 pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc. 
Thin Stix by KwikStix
The Pencil Grip, Inc. is not a new company for us as we already own several boxes of the regular Kwik Stix. Alaina was so excited to get the Thin Stix because sometimes you need to make a finer line. We have had our Thin Stix for several weeks and Alaina has drawn and painted pictures, made cards, and even painted on mylar balloons. 

Thin Stix are actually solid tempera paint inside a plastic housing that looks like a marker. The paint is non-toxic and can be used on paper, posters, card stock, mylar balloons, wood, and canvas. The Thin Stix has a smaller tip than the original Kwik Stix so that you have better control over your artwork. And the best part about these art supplies is that they are completely mess free. You do not need any water to use this tempera paint and it dries in 90 seconds.  
The first thing Alaina did when she received her Thin Stix was to draw a palette so she could see all the colors, the 6 pack comes with yellow, brown, green, blue, red, and black. Every evening I read out loud to my family. My kids usually draw, or work on a craft of some kind. Several times Alaina wanted to paint, but I really didn't want her painting in the living room so the answer was always no until we started using the solid tempera paint sticks so now she can paint in the living room anytime. 

Alaina was so thrilled with the new Thin Stix because she could make things she had trouble creating with the Kwik Stix. She wanted to see if she could make a smaller eye & she was glad it worked.



The Thin Stix is thinner and taller than the Kwik Stix. Alaina doesn't just like them because they have a smaller tip, but she also thinks they are easier to use and fit her hand better.




Alaina wanted to try painting on a mylar balloon so she decided to make a birthday balloon for a lady at church. Her sister made some yummy chocolate peanut butter cupcakes and Alaina made the balloon. The paint sticks went on the balloon very smoothly. She messed up on one part and she used a paper towel and a little Windex to wipe the mistake off immediately after applying it. The funny part about the balloon was that I was cleaning our church building so Alaina easily packed up all of her boxes of paint sticks and balloon to paint while I cleaned. Kim happened to stop by the church while we were there and Alaina had to hurry and hide the balloon. Later when we dropped off her goodies she said she didn't notice exactly what Alaina was doing.

The Pencil Grip, Inc. offers the Thin Stix and the Kwik Stix in different size packs in classic colors, neons, and metalix colors. We received the 6 classic colors in the Thin Stix to review and we already had the Kwik Stix in the classic colors, metalix, and neon. Alaina loves having so many colors to choose from and they all create bright beautiful artwork.


Would you like to win your very own set of Thin Stix? I have a set to giveaway to someone in the United States just enter using the Rafflecopter below.

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No Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
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Mandisa Out of the Dark Review & Giveaway #OutOfTheDark #FlyBy

My kids could listen to the same CD over and over, so I am always glad to get a new one especially when it is from one of my already favorite artists. We have been enjoying to Mandisa's brand new album called Out Of The Dark.
This album starts out a little different. There is a voicemail introduction of people calling Mandisa to let her know they are there for her and have been praying for her during that hard time. Mandisa's friend had lost her battle with breast cancer in 2014 when Mandisa thought for sure God would heal her. She fell into a state of depression for almost three years, but her friends finally reached her and reassured her that God does love her and with His help she can pull herself out. The songs then go on to tell a story of coming out of the depression. The titles of each song indicate the process of coming out of that depression.

  • I'm Still Here
  • Out of the Dark
  • Unfinished
  • Bleed the Same
  • Comeback Kid
  • What You're Worth
  • Good News
  • Prove Me Wrong
  • Mothdisa Interlude
  • The One He Speaks Through
  • Shine
  • My First Love
  • Shame Of
  • Keep Getting Up
  • Back to Life


Everyone is depressed or down at some point in their lives because we are not perfect, but we need to remember God loves everyone and He can pull us Out of the Dark. Mandisa shared her struggles with Good Morning America and she is very encouraged and open about her struggles and her new album.

Mandisa's new album is very encouraging and can speak to you no matter what struggles you are dealing with.

~~~Giveaway~~~
I have a copy of Mandisa's new CD Out of the Dark to giveaway to one of my readers in continental U.S. Giveaway closes May 30.

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 on the same blog, 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, May 19, 2017

Captain AbsolutelyReview #hsreviews #faith #CaptainAbsolutely #ComicBook #Character

Focus On The Family
My kids love Adventures in Odyssey. Alaina listens to at least one episode every morning while she does her morning chores and if she is cleaning her room she will listen to them the whole time. When the Homeschool Review Crew was offered Captain Absolutely from Focus On The Family to review I knew Alaina would want to read it. 

 Captain Absolutely
If you are familiar with Adventures in Odyssey then you know who Wooton Bassett is. He is not only the mail carrier for Odyssey, but he also writes a comic book. Captain Absolutely is that comic book. It has taken five years to complete because it was written two pages at a time to first appear in the Focus On The Family Clubhouse magazine. 

Wooten wanted to write Captain Absolutely to inspire kids to defend truth, justice, and lots more truuuth! The comic is about how you see the world & how your values change your perspective of the things around you. 

All superheroes have some sort of superpower and Captain Absolutely is no exception. There are two friends in the library when one of the computers explodes! Josiah King finds himself in a secret room full of different copies of the Bible. While he is waiting to be rescued he reads the bible but he doesn't notice there is a radioactive leak in the room that changes him into Captain Absolutely. He must defend God's truth by going against the evil villains. His friend Darren Gray is trapped in a room with philosophy books and after he breathes the toxic fumes he becomes the evil villain Dr. Relative. Captain Absolutely believes the bible is absolute truth and full of God's wisdom. Dr. Relative believes in relative truth. He thinks everyone makes their own rules and right and wrong can change depending on the moment. 

The softbound comic book is 105 pages and has colorful glossy pages. The comics include bible references and a little humor throughout. Captain Absolutely explains making good decisions, defending the truth, forgiveness, and repentance to name a few. In the back of the book, there is a description of each character including their worldview. There are also a couple of pages of Big Questions. These questions go along with what is happening in the comic book and there are page numbers listed so you can go back and read the pages that go with the questions. They are a great way to talk to your kids about things going on around them. 

We belong to Odyssey Adventure club and receive the Clubhouse magazine so Captain Absolutely comics are not new to us. We haven't been reading the magazine for five years so Alaina was excited to finally get to read all of them in the comic book. I usually get distracted looking at the pictures when I read a comic book, but Alaina likes them. I'm glad she likes this one because of the morals it teaches. 



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Captain Absolutely {Focus On The Family Review}
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