Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook #simplewomansdaybook #mobsociety

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Outside my window... It's dreary one minute, sunny the next, we have a chance of rain everyday this week. Spring Gotta Love it!

I am thinking... I should get dressed and motivated, but this dreary weather makes it darker than normal and everyone is still sleeping, except for Dave who left for work and Nick who left for school. Gram was up at breakfast and went back to bed. It is so peaceful even the dogs are snoozin.

I am thankful... for being able to spend the past weekend with my good friend Sarah, we met through the schoolhouse crew a couple years ago online and then in person for the first time last year at convention, now it is our annual trip that we both look forward to every April. We were meant to be friends, we are so much alike and really understand each other. It is like we have known each other forever.

In the kitchen... I am thinking of putting something in the crockpot. Other than that not anything going on in there.

I am wearing...My Pajamas still.

I am creating...Nothing right now but have some plans to get busy on something soon.

I am going...to a baby shower this weekend for a lifelong friend of the family. Alyx's Godmother's daughter Veronica, is having her first baby, a little boy. I am so excited for her and it is the first grand-baby for Sylvia too.

I am wondering... If it is ever going to get warm and stay warm outside.

I am reading...nothing at the moment

I am hoping...The weather is nice for Nick's graduation party, we are planning it at a park and I am a little worried with how unpredictable our weather has been around here, but hey its the end of June it is bound to improve soon, right?

I am looking forward to...All of Nick's end of school activities, Honors night, Graduation, his party and next week a Scholarship award dinner.

I am learning... to take it slower, life moves way to fast, blink and it speeds on by.

Around the house...it is quiet, remember everyone is still snoozin.

I am pondering...changing things up around here, chore wise, we do this every so often to keep the family interested in helping out.

A favorite quote for today...
Re-directed to something better
One of my favorite things... Is being able to hear everyone snoring peacefully, even the dogs.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Not a whole lot for a change. I am enjoying the down time it doesn't happen to often.

A peek into my day...Look what I won at the homeschool convention last weekend.

Wordless Wednesday Whirly Ball with CAP #mobsociety

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Brinkman Adventures Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #missionarywork #christianmedia

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Brinkman Adventures Review

   Are you as worried about the influence of mainstream media on your children as I am? I have been really vigilant about bringing more Christian media into the home, you know wholesome programming the whole family can enjoy together! Whether it be radio, TV, DVD or computer. One of the things we have been enjoying as a family for years is radio dramas. You know the ones like they used to listen in the good ole days. We loved to sit and close our eyes and picture the story taking place as we listen. The ones I bought when we first started homeschooling, even though we love them, the kids have really outgrown them. So imagine my excitement when we were offered the opportunity to review the MP3 version of the Brinkman Adventures, we were sent The Brinkman Adventures Season 2: Episodes 13-24. Here is what was included for our listening enjoyment.

Episodes include:

1. The Mystery Ring

2. Blue Hat & T-Shirt Bible

3. How Big is Your God, part 1

4. How Big is Your God, part 2

5. Mexico by Bus

6. Treehouse Academy

7. Pirates of Mayan Island

8. Sapphire Slaves, part 1

9. Sapphire Slaves, part 2

10. Hadi’s Choice

11. Castle of Secrets

12. On the Run
Brinkman Adventures Review
These stories are set from real life events of the Brinkman Family, on their website you can learn about the actual events that took place that led to the making of these Seasons on CD or MP3. A missionary family with 8 kids, you can imagine the adventures they have endeavored over the years, now we were sent Season 2, and even though each episode flows into the next and builds the adventure, it was not confusing for us to have started with Season 2, although listening to all 12 stories just made us want to hear where the story began in Season 1. I searched high and low at the homeschool convention I attended last week and they did not have any for sale anywhere. I was disappointed as I wanted to surprise my kids when I came home. That was one of the first things they asked me when I got home. "Did you buy the 1st Season of Brinkman Adeventures?" I was sorry to say I hadn't. What this did do was cement the fact that my boys 14,15, and 17 really, truly were enjoying listening to the stories of the missionary family. They were not begging for me to let them play video games, or watch TV they truly were enjoying these engaging, adventure radio shows.

So I will be ordering Season 1 this week and we are waiting anxiously for Season 3 to get completed so we can scoop that up as well. 
One of the things the kids liked the most is that it was not just narrated stories but instead each character being acted out. They were clear broadcasts, so there was nobody asking "What did they say?" It was so enjoyable to sit in the living room at night with the lights down low, a snack in hand and the family gathered to listen. Each episode varies in length but they are roughly about a half hour, in all you get over 5 hrs of listening enjoyment for each Season. We also took them to the car for days when we had errands to run, the boys would choose to sit and the car and listen, I was a little bummed because that meant I was missing out. ( I just went and listened to them later on) They don't need to know that. My son Alyx has a heart to be a missionary so this especially is interesting as he got to hear first hand of some of the work involved and what it is like to take your whole family into the mission fields. 

Listening to these stories not only helped him envision life as a missionary when he gets older, but let them all know and realize that mission work truly begins right in your own neighborhood. I told Alyx that his Little Free Library he built in the Fall, is in essence a form of Mission work. His vision for that was to get Quality books into the hand of everyone, especially children, and those that cannot get to the library at the north end of our city. There are always Christian books mixed in with other quality appropriate books, and that you never know how a book can change someone's life. I want my kids to be givers and doers, whether that is going across the world to do mission work or just helping folks in our community. I think the Brinkman Adventures helped cement that into my kids while listening to their awesome adventures. If you have younger kids there are coloring pages that can be printed off the website as well, and they could color as they listen. While these are suitable for the whole family there are a few episodes that have some content that may not be suitable for children under 10, such as topics of child abuse and miscarriage to name a couple. Please always use your judgement when it comes to your kids sensitivity and maturity. Maybe listen to them before you let the younger kids so that you can have the answers to their questions handy ahead of time. 

Listening to the Brinkman Adventures opened the door to a lot of discussion on many topics in our home and I was so thankful for that. In the days of busy teens we don't get as much time to just sit and openly chat about things. This helped open that conversational doorway. 

If radio adventures, mission stories or adventures are something your family is interested in, please order your copies of Brinkman Adventures, he discs sell for a suggested donation of $25.00 or you can purchase an MP3 download version like the one we received for a suggested donation of $17.00. If you feel led you can give a little more, or if you are hurting in today's tough economy a little bit less. The lord knows your situation and will guide your donation. Pray about it as a family before you make your purchase. Your donations help the Brinkmans continue their Mission Work. 
 As always please follow the Brinkmans on their Social Media sites to keep updated on both their adventures and future releases like Season 3. 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brinkman-Adventures/152895116079

  Also be sure to click the banner below to read how the other crew members and their families were blessed by the Brinkman Adventures.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Nick's Senior Senior Pics- Good-bye South Lake, Hello Central Michigan University. #graduationtime #seniorpics

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Curiosity Quest answers "Why?" to many wonders. Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014

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Curiosity Quest Review

Do your kids often wonder Why? and How? some things are. I know I cannot remember a time when I did not hear the echo of those questions from my boys. Even now as teenagers I am still hearing it. Curiosity Quest helps answer those questions with their DVD Combo Packs. We  were sent two DVD Combo Pack- Produce and DVD Combo Pack Swimmers of the Sea. Each with 3 episodes, each episode covering a different topic. Hosted by Joel Greene, who keeps things fun and interesting without being corny. My boys often worry about shows like this, they feel like they are getting too old for learning shows such as this. These DVD's are geared for 7-14 year olds and my boys are just at the high end of this at 14 and 15.

They were however pleasantly surprised that these were not only enjoyable for them, but they learned something from each episode as well. It was refreshing to hear them say "Oh, I did not know that, how cool !" I sat and watched each episode with them and I found them equally enjoyable. There are fun Q and A sections throughout the episodes where Joel asks kids and adults fun factual questions and see what their answers are. There were some real groaners of answers but it was fun nonetheless. 
Curiosity Quest Review

On each episode you join Joel and his crew an on location virtual field trip.Who doesn't love a field trip? Our town is pretty boring so virtual field trips are fun when you can escape somewhere new when you flip on the DVD player. We had originally set out to watch one episode every couple days, but they were so much fun we watched an entire DVD with the 3 topical episodes on it in one sitting. So we did one DVD one week and the other the next. They are fun and easy to watch. The first DVD we watched was the Produce combo pack. In these episodes we learned about Oranges, Cranberries and Mushrooms. 

When I asked the boys what was one fact they thought was the coolest from this DVD they both agreed it was how the cranberries were harvested, how they over saturate their growing area, and that makes the cranberries float to the top and then they can easily harvest them. We are not huge cranberry fans in this house, but that did not stop us from enjoying the episode. 
Curiosity Quest Review

Growing up visiting Florida often I saw Orange Groves quite often, but my boys have never been in Citrus territory anywhere. So this was neat to be able to chime in and tell of my experiences when I was kid as we watched the episode.
Curiosity Quest Review
The Mushroom episode was our favorite as that is one of the staples in our house used in cooking, we always have cans, fresh and even fresh frozen. We never order a pizza without mushrooms either.  The boys were mesmerized by how many mushrooms were in one location. After watching this episode we have decided to give growing mushrooms a try in our garden this year. That is if it ever warms up and stays warm to plant here in Michigan. 

Curiosity Quest Review

The second Combo Pack we received was Swimmers of the Sea. Sea turtles, Salmon and Penguins Oh MY!  

Curiosity Quest Review
How we would love to get up close and personal with these dapperly dressed little creatures. The closest we have even gotten to a penguin was at the zoo, which means not that close. So much fun to learn about their habitat and what and how they eat. Makes me want to go visit the zoo. 

Curiosity Quest Review
Our absolute favorite was the Sea Turtle Episode, where we learned about not only Sea Turtles themselves but about The Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys. Here is where injured turtles go for rehab or maybe to live forever depending on if it would be safe to return them to the Ocean. The coolest fact the boys loved hearing about and have shared with everyone we tell about the Curiosity Quest DVDs is that Some Sea Turtles grow to be as big as a Volkswagen. My boys are car guys, especially Alyx so this was fun to see him get excited about this detail.

Curiosity Quest Review

We saw hatchlings and "Senior Citizen" turtles. Makes me want to watch Finding Nemo, I loved Crush and Squirt. We learned about when you live close to the beaches where Turtle Hatchlings are born into the world, during hatching season you cannot keep lights on or the baby turtles will get confused and lost, as they follow the moonlight to the water but could easily mistake your streetlights and porch lights and go the wrong way. This is how many groups of hatchlings come to be at the Turtle Hospital. 

Curiosity Quest Review
The last episode was about Alaskan Salmon, my nephew is stationed in Alaska in the Army so it was neat to learn about something local for him. The most interesting fact about Salmon is that they are both Salt Water and Fresh Water fish. The boys were intrigued by this. We recently went to a screening of the new Disney Nature movie, it was all about Alaskan Brown Bears, which then led to Alaskan Salmon, because the bears live on the Salmon during the Summer. Salmon helps the mother bears store up fat for the Winter to help sustain her milk supply for nursing and keep her cubs healthy and strong during hibernation. See how one thing leads to another. Taylor was excited to share the facts he knew about Alaskan Salmon from the Curiosity Quest DVDs with my Mom and I after we got out of the movie. I was pleased to see how much he remembered. So then that led to us lending our DVD to her and my Dad so they could lean more about Salmon from Alaska, and I am sure they will love to watch the other episodes as well.

Curiosity Quest Review

Learning about the Oranges, Cranberries, and Mushrooms, as well as the Penguins, Sea Turtles and Salmon, also went hand in hand with our American History Studies, as we have been learning about the animals and products that are produced and exported by America. The boys had to pick and episode to write about and relate it to our studies of America. It really helped get the creative writing juices flowing and helped the boys produce some wonderfully written descriptive paragraphs and papers. 
I highly recommend picking up one or all of the DVD Combo Packs which sell for $24.95 or even the single episodes, I know we have our eye on the Jelly Belly one and the Sled Dog one. There is also  Homeschool Annual and Monthly Membership options that would keep you with new episodes to watch on a monthly basis, there is even one about Ben and Jerry Ice Cream. Be sure to check out all of the Social Media links below to keep up on the latest sales and episodes and to learn how your child can write to Curiosity Quest about something they are curious about and their topic may just be the next field trip Joel takes you on. Be sure to also click on the banner below to read all of the reviews from the crew.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CuriosityQuest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/curiosityquest
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCijkbeDwySOsg-pZjOeWsgg

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Wordless Wednesday My Stamping Weekend was a Success #stampinup #cardmaking

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook Tuesday April 15, 2014 #simplewomansdaybook

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Welcome to...


Outside my window...We had yet more snow... Yes it is Spring, Yes it was 80 this past Sunday but for today we had snow, Beat the snowiest Winter record with over 94 inches of snow this season that record for just over 93 inches was set in 1880-1881. These are the types of records I don't want our state to make, just sayin!

I am thinking... This School year has sailed by way too fast. Nick only has about 6 weeks until his last day of school on May 29th

I am thankful... For all of the grants and Scholarships Nick has gotten and he gets to attend to school with his friends with no big financial burdens or worries for him or us.

In the kitchen...the dishwasher  is humming it's tune.

I am wearing...my pajamas, Mickey PJ Pants and a bleached ridden scrapbook shirt

I am creating...Ideas for my classes this Fall in our co-op, I am teaching 2 classes, but the one I am most excited about is, the Dr. Seuss class for 1-3 grade. I am having way too much fun with it. The other class is 4-6 astronomy.

I am going... to the GHC in Cinci in a little over a week, I cannot wait to see my good friend Sarah and all of our homeschool blogging friends.

I am wondering... When the nice weather will get here and stay around for a while.

I am reading...nothing at the moment, I just finished Heaven is For Real, movie version.

I am hoping...that we are not going to regret planning Nick's grad party at the park. Pray for Sunshine and warmth on June 22nd.

I am looking forward to...the last day of co-op this Thursday.

I am learning... to slow down and take time for me so I can recharge my batteries.

Around the house... My stamping bags need to be put away from my weekend.

I am pondering... How on Earth we are going to relax and enjoy Summer with the boys having so much planned.

A favorite quote for today...
Love <3

One of my favorite things... is watching Alyx be social and hang out with friends, it is really amazing to see considering where he was just 5 years ago.

A few plans for the rest of the week: A screening of Disney Nature's Bears tonight with Taylor and my Mom, our last day of co-op for the year and  cooking class at the church Thursday, Friday Errands and Saturday Alyx's Orientation Flight with Cap. Sunday EASTER! We are going to my parents house for Dinner, we are bringing Ham and Cheesy potatoes and my mom is doing veggies and dessert.

A peek into my day... Alyx works out daily to get in shape for CAP PT tests