Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Commitment of Weightloss and the Levels of CHANGE.

Pin It Now!    As promised I am here to share some insight from a recent Weight Watchers meeting I attended, I was hoping to get to it sooner but being sick has me way behind in the blogging world.

               CHANGE, CHANGE, and more CHANGE

During our weightloss journey we usually experience POWERFUL Change Phase...
   There are 3 phases of Change....
1. Not Ready to Change(been there done that)
excuses,denying there is a weight problem

2. Attitude Plateau(been here too)
Cop and Attitude, Not willing to change

3. READY to CHANGE(this is where I am now, finally)
Actively making Healthy Changes, Committed to making the change permanent.

  It is important to remember that all of these phases are NORMAL
There is no right or wrong.

A BAD attitude is the WORST thing to have in the WORLD.

  What happens to your motivation when you find yourself on an Attitude Plateau?
Common Causes of Attitude Plateaus...
       1. Tired of your weightloss routine... "I do not want to do this forever!"
             A. Stop Living the DIET, It is a LIFE CHANGE!
             B. Lots of Fears
             C. Become too comfortable with who we are.

1. Environment- Clean up your fridge and cupboards
2. Behavior- We do what we always do and have excuses why we cannot change
3. Capabilities- How we guide our behaviors: Many believe they cannot change!
4. Belief- "I will always be heavy!" "My Family genetics make me predisposed to being heavy!"
  FORGET the Myths!
5. Identity-Who You ARE !!  "I am not a thin person" Leads to Self Fulfilled Prophecy.



  I know this for a fact to be true over the last several years I have gone through the first two phases repeatedly with little or no changes taking place because I either A. Gave up too soon. or B. Made progress and then got comfortable and gained it all back and then some. For me something in me changed this year and I have made it farther than I ever have because I am not seeing this as a diet anymore but a lifestyle change I am committed to meet my goal and maintain for my health's sake. I want to be fit and healthy. I have had weeks where I gained but I recognize why I gained and I do not let it defeat me. I keep on trucking and I look to the future of a new week and I do not dwell in the past of last week. I am keeping myself motivated by surrounding myself with friends both in real life and online that are all committed to make a healthy lifestyle change. I think this is a key component of my continued success. I set myself up for challenges and reward myself when I meet those challenges. I have been taking lots of pictures to track my progress, because the scale does not always show the whole picture. With that also goes I measure myself weekly to see the true progress. You can gain muscle but lose inches due to fat loss. I keep moving, I have found that I truly do like to walk, even if it is by myself, I throw my ipod in my pocket, plug my headphones in and away I go with uplifting music, an eclectic Mix of Contemporary Christian, Country and some Pop, and even some comedy from Tim Hawkins in for good measure. I find that when the sun is shining and music is in my ears and a water bottle in my hand I feel motivated and refreshed and ready for anything that comes my way. I do not always no where I will end up but I always come home in a great mood, with a smile on my face and energy to accomplish anything I want to do. It is true that exercise helps boost your energy level. I always thought I would be exhausted if I exercised and some times I am if I over do it. I am trying to find my niche of what I can do without over extending myself I am thinking right now 4-5 miles walking briskly or 2-3 miles mixed with another form of working out. I have tried 4-5 miles with working out and it was too much at this point. You just have to know your limits for you. What is good for your friend may not be good for you, and vice versa.

   So in conclusion I was up again this week, I am not sure if it was because of residual effects from all of my steroids while I was sick, or muscle gain from all the exercise since I made up for lost time this week. Either way I know I am doing everything right, I do allow myself treats now and then but I know what is an acceptable portion and do not feel deprived. I am making conscious choices to be healthy and I do not say I am dieting. What phase are you in and what keeps you motivated??

Monday, April 22, 2013

Enter to Win a trip for 4 to the new Crayola Experience

Pin It Now!     Can you believe Crayola is turning 110 years old?
To celebrate their 110th birthday, the 8 original crayons are throwing a birthday bash at the new fun-omenal Crayola Experience, the world's only interactive Crayola family attraction.
Right now, they're out on a colorful adventure to spread the news, and you're invited to join the fun.

How can you join in on the fun? You can FOLLOW the crayons on their adventure, LEARN more about each color and enter to WIN a trip for 4 to celebrate their birthday and the Grand Opening of the all new Crayola Experience this coming May, 2013!

Visit the Crayola Facebook page and click "enter now" for your chance to be first in line when the Crayola Experience reopens.

The new Crayola Experience features four floors of new interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind attractions that will bring the magic of color and your child's creativity to life! The winner will be among the first to experience the fun, along with a three- night, all-expenses paid stay. It's an experience your kids will never forget - and neither will you!

I know my kids would love to visit the Crayola Experience, how about you and your family??

Disclaimer: I was given this information to share with you provided by Crayola, and in exchange they are sending me a Free box of anniversary crayons.

Finally feeling better after two long weeks of being sick... #weightloss

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  Whew!! After two VERY LONG weeks I am finally done with my medications and feeling somewhat like my old self again. Saturday I went to a day long Thirty One training and it was the first day in two weeks that I felt up to doing anything. Then Saturday night Alyx and I walked 1.5 miles to the Video Store and back. It was the first time I had exercised besides walking at the convention in almost 3 weeks. It felt wonderful and I could tell my body had been craving activity. It left me feeling invigorated and motivated. So much so that on Sunday I started a 30 day Squat challenge that I found on Pinterest. The first day was 50 squats. I also walked 5 miles total, I walked to my parents and back home again. I definitely started feeling the burn and pull in my thighs last night and continuing into today. I am not letting that slow me down though. I am also discouraged with being sick since because of 2 weeks of steroid pills and shots I was up 2.8 lbs at my weigh in this week. So to jump start my metabolism again I am doing the 3 day Military Diet that I also found on Pinterest. I am hoping to stick with it, it is only 3 days. I am seeing such progress in myself that it is really keeping me motivated and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel I am 1/4 way to my first goal of 160 pounds. It took me 4 months to get there but that is OK. I know I will more than likely not be at my goal of 160 by January 1st 2014 but I will not let that discourage me I will just keep plugging along. I think my new goal is by My Birthday May 13th  next year in 2014 to be at my final goal weight of 145 lbs.
    That gives me a little over a year to lose 100 pounds. I know I can do this and I will be so thankful that I am much healthier so heading into turning 40 I will be living a much healthier lifestyle.  I already notice how much more energy I have on a daily basis and how much mroe healthier I feel. I used to have chronic IBS and I hardly ever have stomach issues anymore. For that alone I am very thankful already. I love the way my clothes are fitting and I am enjoying shopping for the first time in I cannot remember when. I can actually just pull clothes off the rack and know they will fit or fit very soon. I started a 30 month regimen of ACE for a review and I am feeling good while taking it. I have also done 2 It Works Body wraps and I am signing up to be a distributor this week. They really do WORK. I have lost many inches from using them. Next is to do my arms, I need to lose the chicken wings. It is one area I am still very self conscious about.

     I want to be able to wear sundresses this summer and not be worrying about my arm flab. I am looking forward to Summer this year so much more than usual. I am excited to go camping and be able to swim everyday and walk the whole park this year and not depend on my scooter so much. I am also taking my bike up with us. Alyx and Eric are putting a hitch on the van for the bike carrier tomorrow. We go camping for the first time next Tuesday. The weather is finally starting to cooperate and I am now getting excited for camping season to start. I look forward to an active Summer. The big deal right now is what to do about a bathing suit. Mine from last year is way to big but I don't want to have to invest in a new suit this soon. I wanted my new suit to be in the ladies dept this year and not the women's dept. I may go to Salvation Army and see what I can find. I have not bought any shorts yet either, Just Capri's. We saw some friends from Camp on Friday for breakfast and they had not seen me since October and it was so nice for them to compliment me on my weightloss. I love hearing it and it keeps me motivated. I have never been told I look skinny but now I am hearing it all the time and It is definitely a confidence booster.

   I am going to be creating a weightloss vision board this week. When it is done I will share it with you all. I want to keep myself motivated with positive images and quotes. Today was day 2 of the 30 day Squat Challenge and it was 55 squats. I thought I was going to die from pain but I pushed through it and feel proud of myself for not giving up. This afternoon a friend of mine and I are going to the school track to start Couch 2 5K. I installed the App on my iPhone. I love using technology for good purposes. I am finally going to put my BodyMedia to use now that I am feeling better too.

   On a different Note Nick cut his hair short for the first time in 4 years, Wow does he look different, here is what he looks like now.

The Hobbit Study Guide from Progeny Press Schoolhouse Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews

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  Sometimes homeschooling with a Biblical perspective brings about certain challenges, especially when it comes to Literature studies. Progeny Press realizes this and has come to our rescue. For the past 20+ years they have been creating Literary Study Guides from a Christian Worldview viewpoint. Michael & Rebecca Gilleland have been doing this since 1992 when they struggled to find such for their own children, they created their own and have been doing so ever since, now with over 100 titles to choose from, there is something for everyone in 4 age categories from Lower  Elementary (1-3), Upper Elementary (3-5) and Middle School (5-8) and lastly High School levels (9-12).

           We were super excited to be chosen for this review for The Hobbit Study Guide as we were just getting ready to Begin The Hobbit and were looking for a supplement to go with it and study guides are a perfect addition to a Literary read in your homeschool classroom. We try to often read the book together as a family and then work along in a lapbook, or study guide to give it depth and then we treat ourselves much of the time to the Movie when it is all over. This was especially true in this case and it was hard to not see the movie before we were done. We just rented the movie this past weekend, because we finally finished our study of The Hobbit.

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   Progeny Press study guides are designed to go along with you as you read the book, we received their download version of an interactive PDF file, which sells for $18.99 but there are other options as well, the CD version which is $18.99 and the printed version for $21.99. The Hobbit Study Guide is geared toward High Schoolers, I myself used it with my 8th grader and 9th grader and they both handled it very well.  The interactive PDF is pretty neat since the kids can fill out the worksheets on the computer by just typing them in and then saving them as they go along. My boys particularly liked this aspect of this study guide as they are lacking in their fine motor skills and writing is a challenge to them. This made the study guide go smoothly without much griping from the peanut gallery.  The study guide breaks the book up into sections so it is easier to study and work along. The guide begins by giving a synopsis of the book, a biography of the author and gives suggestions for pre-reading activities, then it breaks the book into the suggested reading zones.

    For each section of reading there are several activities to be completed, these are as follows. Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary exercises, Literary Analysis, also included are application questions and discussion questions related to Biblical themes. There is also a handy answer key included too. There are some items you will need to have on hand for your students to properly work through the guide and get the full experience from it. These items should already be on hand but if not you can get them from your local library, so there should be no additional costs involved. First and foremost you will need the book you will be reading through as you work on the study guide, we purchased ours for our Kindle Fire on Amazon but you can purchase it on the Progeny Press website when you order your study guide or you can check it out at your library. You will also need a dictionary, a thesaurus, and A Bible (NIV is used in the guide) and some sort of Encyclopedia, we use the internet for that purpose but you can use whatever you are comfortable with.

   Typically the suggested pace of the Progeny Press Study Guides are one guidebook page per school day, this would lead you to take 8-12 weeks to complete the study. My boys really got into this study and we typically did 1-3 pages per day and will be finishing up our study this coming week, taking us about 6 weeks to finish it up. I think next time I would work at the slower pace but I always try to take the lead from my boys, when they get passionate about something we roll with it and follow their direction. The High School titles such as The Hobbit study guide can be counted as 1/4 credit for High School transcript purposes. This is particularly important knowledge for me as it makes my job as the (High School teacher) a little less complicated because the credits have been figured out for me and there is no guessing or extra work on my part. In closing I highly recommend Progeny Press and their study guides, especially with the new Interactive PDF version, my boys found it easy to follow along and really liked the depth it added to their study of The Hobbit, and we all enjoyed the Worldview approach the study guide offered.

    Visiting the Progeny Press website there is sure to be a study guide that fits into your current Literary lessons, and also be sure to check out all of the Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking the banner below as we all chose the one that was perfect for our family and homeschool. 


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Plummet Falls Adventure Waterslide Giveaway Free Blogger Opp

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Summer Adventure Event
Hosted by: Mom to Bed by 8

Prize: Banzai Plummet Falls Adventure Slide Water Park

Event dates: 5/13 – 5/28

Please let them know Fresh Start Academy Homeschool sent you.  Thanks!

Free Blogger Event: Sign Up HERE

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hapari Swimwear Giveaway ENDS May 3,2013 #giveaway #swimsuit #summer

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  Summer is just around the corner and I know because of my weightloss efforts I am in need of a new Swimsuit for camping season. I cannot wait to show off my weightloss at the pool this Summer. This is the first time in many, many years I am actually looking forward to Swimming Season and Swimsuit shopping. I have been looking into a new suit from Hapari Swimwear and am helping out a fellow blogger by hosting their giveaway of a $95 Gift Certificate for Hapari for you to win. So check out the contest below and Good Luck. 

Welcome to the Hapari Swimwear $95 Gift Certificate Giveaway!

Hosted by: Savory Savings

Sponsored by: Hapari


How do you feel when you think about swimsuit shopping?  I know that I feel a little nauseous myself.  Just the idea of standing in one of those little closet-room’s and trying on a swimsuit with full view mirrors and horrific lighting showing my every cottage cheese corner makes me feel like I am on a boat, after eating.  YUCK!  Hapari aims to take the horror out of your swimwear shopping experience.  They offer tankinis, bikinis, wraps and more.  They also have suits for nearly anyone, carrying a plus size line for those of us that more curvy.  They even have men’s swimwear!  I was fortunate enough to receive a $95 gift certificate to select the swimsuit of my choice; I selected a classic blank tankini with a skirt.  The suit is comfortable, fits well and has a very flattering cut.  While I will not be out entering into any swimsuit modeling contests anytime soon, I will walk with a little more confidence next time we are at a pool!

hapariswimsuitblackHow would you like to win a gift certificate from Hapari to choose your own new swimwear?  Check out the giveaway form below and enter to win!


This giveaway will run from April 19, 2013 at 5 PM through  May 3, 2013 at 8 PM CST.  Giveaway is open to US residents, 18+.

Savory Savings did not receive any compensation for this post.  Disclosure: I did receive the products for free and am sharing my opinion with you.  My opinion may differ from yours.  Savory Savings and Fresh Start Academy Homeschool are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.  We hereby release Facebook of any liability.  Winner(s) will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours after the giveaway ends to respond before another winner is selected.  All entries will be verified. 

eMeals Iphone APP for meal planning and shopping on the go REVIEW

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Meal Planning at your fingertips

I love eMeals but one thing that was always getting in the way of us putting it to it's full potential was having to print out the list each week and remember to take it shopping with us. I felt bad because I was always forgetting to do that. So imagine my delight when I got an email a few days ago announcing the brand new Free eMeals app for my iPhone. The App itself was free, but you do need to have an active eMeals account to use it. You just simply install the app and login and away you go. You can view the recipes and shopping lists for the current week and the week before all while in the grocery store aisle. No more excuses, it is right there at the click of the button. I loved using this for the first time yesterday it sure made shopping for the week so much easier than before. 
Meal Planning at your fingertips

  I do not know what I did without this App before, oh wait yes I do, I wasn't using eMeals to its full potential. Well that will not be an excuse any longer that is for sure. I will always have the menus and shopping lists with me whenever I am at the store. No more excuses to cook easy to prepare meals and fight mealtime boredom. 
   You can find out all the info you need about eMeals and their new iPhone App by clicking here

This is an ad for eMeals, I was not compensated in any way other than my membership to their eMeals program in exchange for my honest opinions of their products and promotions. I am however trying to win an iTunes gift card for my efforts in sharing this wonderful new App with you, my readers. My family loves eMeals even if I had to purchase our membership, it helps make meal planning effortless and painless, and helps prevent meal planning boredom.

Knowledge Quest brings Technology to your homeschool. Schoolhouse Review 2013 #hsreviews

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  We love to use technology in our homeschool and everyday life as well. We are a fully plugged in family. From laptops to videogames to Kindle Fires and iPads and iPhones. So we are always up to try out an app that will add fun, functionality and knowledge to our life using one of our techy tools. Knowledge Quest is one of those companies that has a fun app to add tech to your maps and timelines, using their TimelineBuilder iPad APP.  

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  Whether you are using timelines in History, Bible or Geography for your homeschool projects or maybe you are studying Genealogy like we are. You are sure to benefit from this handy dandy APP. This is also useful for mapping out timelines for vacations or events. I know we have started one for what needs to be completed for Graduation requirements so we can see right out in front of us what we have left to accomplish and what we have already conquered. Nick is using the timeline to see what he needs to get done to apply for College. Next year is his Senior year. There are many forms that need to be filed and tests that need to be taken and this way it is all mapped out right in front of him.

   Alyx is using the timelines for a History paper on Ancient Egypt. Alyx is also using it to his advantage to line up all the projects he wants to get accomplished now that the weather has finally turned nice after a very long snowy Winter here in Michigan. That boys is always up to his neck in projects, his last was building our new coffee table but he has so many he was having a hard time keeping them straight the Timeline Builder App is helping him to keep on an organized path.

   You can see screenshots and a video tutorial on the Knowledge Quest TimelineBuilder page.
You can also go there to purchase it from the iTunes App store for $6.99. Many people think that iPads and iPods are for music and books but there is so much more to be done with them and technology like it or not is the future of America. Why not put it to good use in the classroom.
  TiimelineBuilder App is a fully interactive, fully customized and fully functional App that is jam packed full of fun and education, fit for ages 10+ but I feel could benefit children younger with help. Seems to me the kids know how to use all of this technology more than us adults anyway.

   When you fire up the App you have to first decide what you are going to use it for, History, Geography, Art or for a project or family Genealogy project. Then once you decide what you want to do with it the real fun begins. You have all the capabilities to edit, add photos, beginning and ending dates and all the dates in between. You can also delete events or rearrange them. This is not all though, this App also helps you gather facts, say you want to find out about the Roman Empire, you can use the Wiki button and it will help you quickly retrieve facts about that topic.  You have the ability to control the size of the photos and info boxes and you can also change the background colors to suit your project or mood. Your timelines are autosaved to help prevent frustration of lost information or work you have completed. You also have the capability to share your timlines with friends and family by emailing it to others or sharing via your image library or shared iTunes account.
    This aspect has been especially nice for us as we have been working for several years with my Husband's family to gather facts about the Kasprzak Family and have many things stored in a binder, but this makes it hard to share. So we have been steadily building our family tree using the App and when it is completed or at a point where we want to share we can email it to our family and friends to share our family's story. The boys are super impressed with how easy this App is to use and how much more fun it makes learning about something.  They love the interactive capabilities. Someone is always playing around with this App in our house. It may lead to a second iPad in our house. Well maybe....The kids hope at any rate. Our Family gives Knowledge Quest and their TimelineBuilder App A++ in our homeschool and family. Technology is here to stay why not use it to educate your kids in a constructive manner. Give it a try today, I guarantee it is one of the best Apps on the market with multiple functional uses and a great buy for only $6.99


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Growing your children into leaders of tomorrow. Leadership Garden Legacy Schoolhouse review 2013 #hsreviews

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   As my children are getting older I often wonder what types of adults they will be? I know I want them to be leaders, not just a follower. I want them to lead others and to lead themselves to Christ. Leadership skills are something that you need to constantly tend to, so I was delighted for the opportunity to review some curriculum from Leadership Garden Legacy

   They teach kids how to be leaders using Gardening metaphors which kids can relate to and understand from an early age and carry that on with them as they get older. We were given a couple items to help us in our studies, U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS: Growing My Leadership Garden this is geared for kids 8 -12 and is a delightful book that is full of color and characters that make learning about leadership skills fun. I feel this book would be appropriate for children as young as 5 with the help of a parent or older sibling.The other was U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within. This is also geared for children 8-12 but could be used with older kids as I did, my boys being 13 and 14 appreciated that this book was not as childish as the U.N.I.Q.U.E Kids book and I felt it could be appropriate for up to 16 years of age or so. This book is in black and white and is all about the program without the cute and colorful, it has also added in some notes where appropriate.

   We were sent both physical copies of the books needed to complete the course
U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS: Growing My Leadership Garden   $18.95


Introduction - Message to Adults
Part One: Welcome to the Leadership Garden
1. Leadership Garden
2. Planting a Leadership Garden
Part Two: The U.N.I.Q.U.E. Tour Begins
3. Understanding Field
4. Nurturing Meadow
5. Inventive Roost
6. Quality Yard
7. Unstoppable Pasture
8. Expression Pen
The End

U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within  $18.95


Part One: Welcome to the Leadership Garden
1. Leadership Garden
2. Planting a Leadership Garden
Part Two: The U.N.I.Q.U.E. Tour Begins
3. Understanding Field
4. Nurturing Meadow
5. Inventive Roost
6. Quality Yard
7. Unstoppable Pasture
8. Expression Pen
The Future - Empower Seeds of Greatness
About the Author

The Leadership Garden Guidebook
 and also some digital downloads
U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS Activity Guide & My Leadership Garden Journal - PDF Downloads $8.95
U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS Audio Book MP3 Download $8.95
U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within - Audio Book MP3 Download

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I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get started. I could have easily started the day after it arrived, but I took a couple days to read through the guides on my own so as to know what was expected of my kids. There is not much prep work needed which I like. My time is spread thin and I am trying to simplify our life and homeschool. I am also trying to instill some self guided learning in the boys. They are learning to be independent workers at least 60% of the time, I feel that part of this transition is being a leader. They need to be able to lead themselves in their studies and also maybe lead their sibling along with them. We decided on 1-2 lessons a week and this was easily accomplished. The hardest part I had was getting my kids to open up, they are not big on deep thought communication. This is something we are continually working on. We are going to grow our very own leadership garden when our weather ever decides to cooperate, we have decided to place it out front in the flowerbeds for all to see its splendor and we can admire it as we sit on the porch when the weather is nice. 
We started each lesson with listening to the MP3 and then we set out to do the activities, we started as a group and then they went off and did them on their own, so they could explore their feelings in private. At the end of the week we got back together and discussed the outcome of that week's lesson. It was a slow process as far as sharing goes, they tend to be a little on the private side. 
I really saw them start to open up after the 4th lesson, taking a little longer than I had hoped but it was progress. They are starting chapter 6 this week, we are a little behind our original plan as we took some time off for Easter week and then I went to convention and came home sick. They have been working on it some in this time but at a much slower pace as I have not been up to par. This did show me they were interested in pursuing this as I did not pressure them to do anything but their basic schoolwork doing this down time and they took initiative to pick this up on their own. This made me so happy to see. 
  My boys do well when they can see a correlation between what they are learning and something concrete in life, so this worked perfectly when using the analogy of gardening and growing their inner leader. I want the kids to also learn to reap what they sow, meaning they will get so much fruit from their labors when they tend to their gardens. One thing I will mention is that this is not written from a Biblical approach, now that is not to say there is anything wrong with it. I enjoyed the program immensely with my boys and I feel they gained so much from the experience. I did however add Bible Verses that went with each lesson to keep in tune with our Biblical approach. This just added a few extra moments of prep on my end but it was not extra strenuous and I did not mind at all, I want my children to have a Biblical attitude in everything they do. I truly believe God is helping them to make them a leader to show people the way to him. We just need to give them a little extra help. This is a prime example of how you can take a secular program and tweak it to meet your Biblical teachings. You do not have to shy way or skip a secular program because it is not written in a Biblical manner, this is the joy of homeschooling you can make it what you want. 
We are going to begin doing some family focused community outreach as the weather gets nice both at home and at camp as we are starting homeschool camp in a couple weeks. I cannot wait to see them develop their leadership skills over the next couple months and take what they have learned to minister to the community with helpful attitudes. I want them to lead their peers and show them what having Godly character means. I look forward to finishing up this program in the next couple weeks and then putting it to good use. 
Be sure to check out what the other crew members had to say about Leadership Garden Legacy. 
By clicking on the banner below, also be sure to take advantage of the wonderful discount our readers are being offered below.

Leadership Garden Legacy is offering the TOS Community a “Spring Special Discount” of 20% on all our Empowerment Tools. This is in addition to our already discounted Tool Kit bundles.

To receive your discount, enter the discount code: TOS-SS20D upon checkout. This is a limited time offer and the code will expire on May 31, 2013.

Preview the bundled Tool Kit Discount options at:

Preview all product tools at:

Visit the Leadership Garden Legacy to learn more at:

With the bundle price of the Family Empowerment Tool Kit and the TOS extra 20% discount this is a $28.70 TOS savings off the retail price of the products.  


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Wordless Wednesday -25 lbs lost in 15 weeks

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This was me in October 2012 at over 280 lbs 

                                           This was me -10 and -20 lbs in February and March 2013

This is me now at 246.9 lbs down -25 lbs since January 3rd 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Where in the world have I been??? Mid April Update!!

Pin It Now!    April is rushing by in a blur and I am looking forward to warm weather and camping come May 1st. I am sorry I have been MIA the past couple weeks to a point, but things have been nuts as usual. On April 4th I headed down with my oldest Nick to Cincinnati,OH, dropping him at a good friends's house and me I headed to The Great Homeschool Convention at The Duke Energy Center. I was so excited because I was meeting up with some TOS Crewbie friends that I talk to online and have gotten to know pretty well. We all roomed together from Thursday to Saturday. We did not get much sleep but had so much fun, we giggled like school girls until the wee hours of the night.
                             Dawn,Mary, Sarah and myself waiting for Tim Hawkins to start.
   The convention was wonderful, we took some classes, learned about many products I had never even heard of, some of which I was fortunate enough to bring home to review with the boys. We also went to brunch with a whole group of TOS crew, it was so much fun to put voices and personalities to names of bloggers that I talk to almost daily. It makes them REAL friends now. We were going for those 3 days from morning until late at night and it was exhausting. We even got to see Tim Hawkins, he is so much fun in person, I cannot wait to see him with my family the next time he comes to Michigan. I came home with a few of his CDS and DVDS. I love the new Pink Tractor CD it has God Bless Chick Fil A on it. I was so excited to go to lunch with Nick at Chick Fil A on the way down there, we do not have them in MI and the last time I had it was on our trip South in the Fall. Nick had never been, he liked it but was not as impressed with it as I am. LOL teenagers.
                                        Our Crew photo opp at the TOS booth
 We were in the first row at Tim Hawkins right in front of the door he made his entrance through...

                                                      Vendors, and more vendors.

  Saturday we all said our goodbyes and headed home, me to pick up Nick and catch dinner, and then we continued to Bowling Green to stay with my good friend Sherrie until Sunday. Saturday night I started to not feel well. I knew my body was run down. I have been sick ever since. This past week was the most unproductive week I have had in I cannot tell you when, and this week is not shaping up to be much better from today's perspective. I am on my 3rd round of antibiotics and 2 nd of steroids, which included shots at the clinic.  3 trips to the clinic last week and I am still not better. I am getting very frustrated, I cannot do the things I need to do being as sick as I am. Being the only one who drives in my family makes it hard for me to just sit and do nothing. I have made a couple small trips to the store but always seem to leave something behind that I needed or wanted  because I cannot focus being so sick.

   Alyx has been away all week at camp with my Dad putting a new wood floor in their camper, and making some improvements and fixing some things. He also checked in on our trailer as we have not been up there all Winter since we moved and the weather was very snowy this Winter.
 He is also bringing my Sizzix home since it got left up there on accident. I have missed him and his help this past week so much. I cannot wait for him to get home and I am planning one of his favorites for dinner being his first night back home. I cannot wait to hear all about his week. I have talked to him a little bit since he was gone, but being sick I cannot talk too much without breaking out into a giant coughing jag. So it has been difficult and texting is just not the same.

   I have many reviews coming up and some giveaways too. I just feel like I am so far behind with being sick. I am hoping to work on some of them this week to get them ready to begin posting next week. So be sure to be on the lookout.

   My weightloss is still on a roll even in spite of being sick. I have been trying some new products and cannot wait to share my results with you all. I am so proud of myself. I earned my -25 lb lost charm for my 10% key chain which I am hoping to earn this week. I need to lose -1.9 pounds to make my 10% goal which was set Jan 3rd. It will be 16 weeks this coming weigh in on Saturday. I will also earn my Stay and Succeed charm on the same day. It is such a great motivation for me to earn these achievements, looking back I can see where I had given up long before now, I only earned 5% once and the other times nothing, because I was not ready. I have a great post to write about change and weightloss that I took notes on from my meeting last Saturday. I cannot wait to share with you, I think it will help many of you that are on the same journey as I am.

  This coming Saturday is going to be fun, I am sure hoping I am better by then, it is a regional event for Thirty One and we are going to Flat Rock,MI for the day. I am riding with a new friend from Thirty One named Jennifer too.

   The new Catalog is being released May 1st and I have already gotten a sneak peak and it is amazing as always. I am so excited to see where my Thirty One business is going to go to this year.

  Well there you have it that is what has been going on in our lives the past couple weeks, a whirlwind that ended up with me getting sick. I pray I am better by the end of this week and life can return to normal. Look forward to some fun posts coming up and some giveaways too.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Computer Science For Kids Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013

Pin It Now!     Like it or not we live in the day and age where technology reigns supreme. Now that does not always have to be a bad thing. Why not teach our kids to make quality computer games with a Christian perspective. You can do just that with Computer Science For Kids. They sell programs such as the one we were given to review Computer Bible Games For Microsoft Small Basic that helps to teach kids with basic computer knowledge how to write programs to make games for the computer. Even better they are Bible Games like Noah's Ark, Daniel and the Lions, and The Lost Coin among others. This is set up to be a semester long class working on one chapter a week with 3-6 hours of study put into it. Now you may think that is a big chunk of time to invest, well I thought so too, but after thinking about it computers are the future of the world and if my son really likes this it may open up to a career in programming in the future. My 13 year old son Taylor fell right into the age range of who this program is suited for, the recommended age range is 10+, geared for Middle School, High School and adults too.
    Taylor has always been interested in computers and video games and we have had endless talks about appropriate content and using computers and video games for good. We have also chatted about how you can use your passion in something to create your career and actually get to do something you love for money. I can see Taylor being a computer programmer or video game designer and if this course helps to show him that this is the right path for him or not and help him get a jump start on basic programming knowledge then that is wonderful.

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There are 13 chapters in Computer Bible Games, they do have an advanced version as well that would continue on for another semester. They also have other programming courses that you can check out, most are of a secular nature, that does not mean they are not good, it just depends on what you are looking for as far as content for your kids. 

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  I will say that even with Taylor's vast computer skills he did struggle with this some as he is not strong in Math at all. What I did find valuable even in his frustration was that he saw that you do need Math to do things in life that he did not think crossed over. I am hoping this helps spark him to try a little harder in Math. He always says he won't use the Math skills we are trying to learn, but if he wants to go into computer programming he now sees he will need these Math skills, that give this program an A+ right off the bat.

  This is set up to be an independent work program, although I needed to help Taylor with certain portions when he got stuck because of Math that he did not quite understand. He did learn that being just one number off in an equation can throw the whole program off. This led to much frustration on his part but it certainly is not the fault of the software. Just the user !

    Taylor is enjoying the course but his lack of patience is starting to show as he wants to be able to create a game right off the bat, and this does not happen until lesson 10, we are only in the 5th Chapter. I told him that people that create X-Box games did not create them in a day or week, and certainly had lots of practice and studying to do, this seem to help him a bit.

   Now you are probably asking what do you get and how much does it cost?? Well I have the answers for you as well as a Sale...

   We received the digital download version of this program which sells for
Option #2
Single User License
Digital E-Book "Download Only"
Item #104-DL  $59.95
Sale Price!
 (SALE PRICE) this sale is said to run through the 4th of July.

You can also get the printed version for
  Option #1
Paperback Textbook Plus
E-Tutorial  Digital Download
Item $104-TB $59.95 + 9.95 S&H
Free Shipping Inside USA***

  All in all I think this is a valuable program that can be used as an elective credit. I think basic computer knowledge is a must for all in this day and age and this takes it one step further by teaching kids programming skills. Once you know programming the possibilities are endless. I think this would be an asset to any homeschool classroom. Some of us reviewed the Bible version of this program like we did and some crew members reviewed the Secular version, be sure to stop off at the crew blog to check them all out, you can do this by clicking the banner below. 


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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Cricut Mini Giveaway Event 4/7-4/21 2013

Pin It Now!
  I have been crafting for a long time and I do not know what I would do without my Cricut, Sometimes though it would be nice to have something a little more portable, so I was super excited when Cricut came out with their new Mini, it is great for crafting on the go, but still takes all of the same cartridges the larger versions take. Enter below for your chance to win your very own Cricut Mini.

     Welcome to our Cricut Mini Event being sponsored by Cricut.  1 winner will win a Cricut Mini Machine.  If you do any type of craft that requires cutting or making any type of  designs, then you are going to love this machine.


     You can read my review of this machine HERE.

     This Event will be live from 4/7 to 4/21, starting and ending at 7 p.m.

     This is open to residents of the United States only.

     All entries will be verified.  The winner will be notified by email.  Please enter using the Giveaway Tools widget below and Good Luck!


Disclosure~  Fresh Start Academy Homeschool is only helping to promote this event.  I received nothing in return but a link on the widget for my help.  I am not responsible for prize fulfillment.  This event is not associated in anyway with Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest,