Wife, Mummy, Nurse

01 April 2018

April Reads #atozchallenge

I started off the year reading 5 books in January, but in February my reading drastically dwindled. (Thanks to a trip to Pennsylvania and forgetting one book at my parent's house and losing a book, only to find it underneath my bed.) My goal for April is to finish three books that I started to read earlier this year and start and finish one book.

So, what are the books I hope to read?

  1. Freedom train: The story of Harriet Tubman by Dorothy Sterling. I started reading this book as a read aloud to my daughter. We took it to PA, but she left it in her room at my parent's house. Since it's a library book, I requested that they mail it back. I have done to max renewals on it, and it's due next week. So, I am motivated to finish reading it aloud to her.
  2. The broker by John Grisham. I have been participating in our library's #bwellread challenge this year. March's prompt was "read a book with a one word title." Even though it technically has two words, I count it because I don't count "the", "a", or "an" as part of the title.
  3. Gettysburg by MacKinlay Kantor. This is the only book I have yet to start. Charis has requested to go to Gettysburg a few times. I want to read this first before handing it over to her. After she reads it and we talk about the Battle of Gettysburg, Drew and I hope to go there on a day trip this summer.
  4. Hero of heroes: Seeing Christ in the beatitudes by Iain Duguid. I am re-memorizing the Beatitudes. I had previously learned them when I was in 6th grade, but like everything, if I am not reviewing it or meditating on that Scripture, I quickly forget what I learned. Thankfully, since I learned them once, it's easier to relearn them. I decided to read a book to better understand the Beatitudes. I have also learned that there are a few that I have not properly understood in the past.
What books are you hoping to read this month? 
This post contains affiliate links.

27 November 2017

ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition

This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I did. This year from February on has been hard (which is one reason for the lack of blog posts). February through April and August through October have been months where I feel like I have been in survival mode health wise. Sometimes, it is easy for me to be down emotionally and feel like the world is collapsing around me. I was needing to be around loved ones this Thanksgiving, along with meditating on God's word.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:2
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name! Psalm 97:12

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalms 100:4

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Psalm 105:1

Even in my suffering and adversity these verses help me to remember to give thanks to God-to praise him and call upon his name.

I try to read my Bible in the morning before my children get up. I am not always able to do this, and if I don't I try to do it in the afternoon.

One of my favorite Bibles is the ESV Illuminated Bible, Art Journaling Edition
The ESV Illuminated Bible places the full ESV text alongside over
500 elegantly hand-lettered gold ink illustrations by renowned
artist Dana Tanamachi. Printed on thick cream-colored paper, the
Bible's single-column text setting and wide margins provide
generous space for additional notes, prayers, and designs—inviting
readers to creatively engage with and reflect on the beauty of God's word.

A few brief thoughts:
When I saw that it was a journaling Bible, I assumed that it would have lines over to the side of the page to jot down notes and draw/paint, but it doesn't. It leaves a wider space, so if you choose to write down notes or illustrate what you have read, you still can. I love that it has black lettering throughout the Bible. The illustrations, by Dana, are gorgeous.

A few drawbacks: There's no concordance. There are no cross references at the bottom of the pages. So, if you are looking for a study Bible, this is not it.

Good news. You can enter to win an ESV Illuminated Bible for yourself. Enter below via Giveaway Tools.

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.

“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.

02 October 2017

John Deere, That's Who!

Our local library has book suggestion lists for various grade levels, since Charis is in 2nd grade. I picked up the list for 2nd-3rd graders, borrow the books, and have her read them aloud to me as part of her school work. This goes very slowly. We might only read 2-3 books every month.

One of the books suggested was John Deere, That's Who! by Tracy Nelson Mauer. Illustrated by Time Zeltner. John was born in Vermont, but after his forge burned down, not once, but twice, he needed a fresh start and moved West to Grand Detour, Illinois. The town needed to blacksmith, and John was perfect for the job. I always assumed that John Deere invented the tractor. (I lived in Iowa-farm land-for 9 years, so I must be right.) Well, I was wrong. He did NOT invent the tractor. He developed a much more lightweight plow, made of steel, instead of iron.

If you want to learn more about John Deere, be sure to check out this quick read.

A few activities Charis did after reading this book:

Color in Vermont and Illinois on her USA map.

Look up the words "forge" and "plow" in the dictionary and write their definitions.

01 October 2017

Brief Life Update

It has been over four months since I have touched my neglected blog. I am not going to apologize. God has called me to be a wife to Drew and a mother to two living children. My first priority is to serve God where He has called me. We have had several ups and downs since January, but throughout it all, God has preserved us. This year has been a reminder of our marriage vows, "in sickness and in health".

Charis is in second grade!! What? Where has the time gone? I started blogging when she was 6 months old. Justin is now three years old. At our homeschool co-op, that puts him in preschool. I am still busy homeschooling, or at least trying to (I may have to step in to little brother's attempts to pull his big sister into playing with him all the time).

I have decided that over the next 31 days, I will be blog about some of the books we have used in our homeschool curriculum from the library. Attempts will be made to post photographs of some of the activities we have done with these books, but the photos are taken with my iPod-no fancy camera here, since it has not been replaced since it was stolen 5+ years ago.

26 May 2017

Luvo: A Healthier Frozen Meal

This is a sponsored post.

From February through April, Fridays were crazy, busy. I joined a homeschool co-op last December, and my daughter and son took classes at co-op during the late winter/early spring months. Our Friday morning schedule consisted of me waking up at 6:00, getting the kids up around 7:00-7:20, all of us going to drop my husband off at work (the "joys" of being a one car family), coming home, the kids eating breakfast, having my kids take a rest (they are used to waking up after 8:00), making a packed lunch for them, and going to co-op. While my children were perfectly happy with their usual sandwich and yogurt, I wanted something different. Luvo frozen meals helped save my sanity as I was trying to get everyone out of the door no later than 11:30 AM. I would put the meal in the microwave around 11 and eat it before heading out the door to our co-op classes.

About Luvo:

Each meal has full serving of vegetables, whole grains, and proteins that are flash frozen in a steam pouch. Unlike most brands that load up on sodium, Luvo flavors their food with herbs and spices. They never use any artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. To find where you can buy Luvo, go to their store locater. Whenever possible, organic and non-GMO ingredients are used.

My thoughts:

Even though I used the store locater, I had to go three different grocery stores before finding Luvo products in the freezer section. At the third store, I finally found it in the middle at the very bottom and the products were not well stocked. I had to squat down and reach towards the back before pulling out two products I wanted to try:
  • Red wine braised beef and polenta with roasted brussel sprouts, butternut squash & cranberries
  • Thai-style green curry chicken with white chicken, brown rice noodles, carrots, red bell peppers & yellow squash
The red wine braised beef and polenta was a little bland when I tried it, so I added a pinch of salt which brought out the flavors much better. The thai-style green curry chicken was my favorite, and it was spicy enough for my taste.

What meal would you like to try from Luvo?

I received free coupons from Moms Meet for the purpose of reviewing Luvo meals. 
All opinions are my own.

28 April 2017

Let's Go Pocoyo: Playtime!

One of my son's favorite pastimes is to interupt my daughter's homeschool work. She hates his interuptions because it sometimes throws her off track and takes her a little bit longer to finish her schoolwork. I have recently started doing "school" with him: reading, coloring, and watching educational shows. All of which I was doing before hand, but now I just call it school. Interuptions have dramatically decreased, so I will continue to do "school" with my son.

One of our most recent DVDs that we received is Let's Go Pocoyo: Playtime!
Embark on eleven playtime adventures with Pocoyo and friends as they learn the importance of playtime is enjoying it with others. Enjoy playing hide and seek to playing dress up as pirates! Ahoy there, Pocoyo! Learning through laughter has never been this fun! Plus, each episode includes a refresher section in which children are reminded of key words that have been covered during Pocoyos adventures such as colors, animals, and shapes. Each episode ends with a catchy music clip reinforcing one last time those important new words. Every day is an adventure with Pocoyo and friends.
My thoughts:
This is perfect to pop in the DVD player, even for 5-10 minutes. There's not a huge plot grabbing my son's attention for a long time. The characters ask the viewers questions, and wait a few seconds before giving the answer. I love this; when my son answered one of the questions correctly, it helped keep me know that he was paying attention. The annimations were not too flashy or fast. My son was not the only Pocoyo fan, my daughter (6 1/2 years) also loved it too! If you have a toddler or preschooler, I definitely recommend Let's Go Pocoyo: Playtime!

If you homeschool, how do you prevent younger siblings from interrupting older siblings?

I received this DVD for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

14 April 2017

Using National Geographic Kids in Our Homeschool

This is a sponsored post. I was recently given the opportunity to review National Geographic Kids books. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. What homeschool mom wouldn't? Did you know that Read Across America Day was March 2nd? I didn't either.

I was sent seven National Geographic Kids books for the purpose of review:

  • Animal Ark
  • Hop, Bunny!
  • Los Dinosaurios
  • Red Pandas
  • Follow Me!
  • Sacagawea
  • Mars
After receiving these seven books, I spent some time browsing the Super-Readers program. I printed out the super readers collector cards. On the back of the book, it has "I read this book: ___________ (Date)." I plan to put the ones my daughter has read in her homeschool portfolio binder.
These books were a wonderful addition to our homeschool library and curriculum. 

Hop, Bunny! could not have come at a more perfect time. Not too long ago, I was having difficulty with my son interrupting my daughter while she as being homeschooled. I tried reading to him, distraction, coloring, and even time out, but he still interrupted. I finally started to call our reading time, his pre-school. He started sitting down more and paying more attention to me reading. Our first unit was on bunnies. When Hop, Bunny! arrived, I grabbed it out of the box to read to my son. The book is 23 pages long, but very short and brief. My son was able to sit on my lap and pay attention the whole time. I should warn you, that not every page has a picture of a bunny on it, and to a three year old, that is disappointing. This mother enjoyed the beautiful forest pictures-trees, water, and animals. On the pages, where it listed different animals, the author used alliteration, for example, "deer dance" or "snakes slither".

Earlier this year, Charis studied about different animals, and their habitats. Animal Ark, Red Pandas, and Follow Me! Animal Parents and Babies were good review books. She was able to read these books outloud, without any problem. The pictures throughout these books are gorgeous.

I used Sacagawea to introduce my daughter to Sacagawea and Lewis and Clark. After reading it, I had my daughter find and color Idaho on her map of the United States (where she was originally from). Then I gave her a picture of Sacagawea to color.

I have yet to use Los Dinosaurios and Mars with my daughter, but will soon. She is currently learning about dinosaurs for school and takes Spanish as well. After she is finished with the science portion of her dinosaur unit, I plan on using Los Dinosaurios to come up with a Spanish/English vocabulary list. I plan on using Mars for our unit on space and planets later this year.

I was sent these National Geographic Kids books for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.