Wife, Mummy, Nurse: 2015

21 December 2015

Family Devotional: 52 Devotions for Families #Review #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post.

When our children were baptized (Charis on September 12, 2010, and Justin on June 15, 2014), one of the seven questions we responded yes to was, "Do you promise to provide for his/her temporal well-being, to teach him/her to love God and His Word, the Bible, and to provide him/her with a God-centered education?"

Four ways we teach our children to love God and His Word include:

1. Consistently have family worship/devotions.

2. Memorize Scripture verses. Psalm 119:11, "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."

3. Ask each other for forgiveness when we sin against each other. We pray that by doing this, our children will see that both mama and daddy are sinner's in need of Christ, and that they would realize they too are sinners, that they need to repent of their sin, and cling to Jesus.

4. Pray for ourselves and our children. We pray that God would be gracious with our family despite our many failings. For the first 3 years of our marriage, we rarely (almost never) had family worship. July 2012, we attended a church conference and heard a sermon about the importance of family worship; Drew and I were both convicted and repented of not teaching our daughter to love God's word. After that conference, we started singing, reading the Bible, and praying much more regularly. Our prayer is that God would convict Charis and Justin of their sin.

One tool I've started using to help my children learn about God and His word is The Bible is My Best Friend: Family Devotional by Sheila Walsh.
This devotional will connect your family both to God’s Word and to each other. Fifty-two key scriptures form the basis for the devotions, which build on the verses, challenge your child to commit them to memory and explore how each verse is part of God’s wonderful message.
A few things I like about this book, it can be read and worked through the next year, with 52 devotionals you can start it the first week of January and finish it in December. It starts at the beginning (a very good place to start) with creation and ends with Christ's resurrection, ascension, and how we are God's disciples. Each week includes a Memory Verse, Let's Talk, Family Fun, Weekly Challenge, Back to the Bible, and Checkpoint. The way I've implemented this at home is working on the memory verse with my daughter Monday-Saturday and reading the passage at least twice. The other days I implement some of the suggestions (and change them if needed to suit our family). Not all of the suggestions work for both my children. Charis is able to do all of them, but Justin is not. At 20 months old, he is not able to dialogue back and forth with me (or Charis).

If you want to get this book, you can purchase it through Family Christian, or enter to win a copy for yourself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

09 December 2015

Stocking Stuffers from Family Christian #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post.

There are 16 more days until Christmas. Between now and then, you can find me either flying with knitting projects and shopping for stocking stuffers. Family Christian will be a stop I'll be making a few times over the coming weeks.

There are items you can get for as little as $5. Some of them are:

21 November 2015

Teaching Moments #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 21: My husband came home earlier tonight than he usually does. When we arrived home, Charis asked, "Daddy, can we take that box in and build the chair." Drew sighed. No, he did not want to do that, but I'm thankful he did. Charis has been wanting to help Daddy "build the chair". (In reality, it was just following directions from IKEA.) I'm thankful Drew was patient with her and explained everything he was doing. (My temptation is to brush my daughter aside and just do what needs to be done.)

What are you thankful for today?

20 November 2015

Solid Food #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 20: At my son's 4 month appointment, his pediatrician recommended I start feeding him solid food, but he wanted NOTHING to do with it. I did not force it, but continued to offer him food. He only wanted breast milk. This continued through his first birthday and into the summer. Finally in August, something clicked, and he started consuming a lot of solid food. So today, I'm thankful he's been much more interested in eating.

What are you thankful for?

19 November 2015

My Little Helper #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 19: I'm not going to lie. Today, I found it hard to be thankful. It was a dreary, rainy day. Plus, I'm worried and anxious about the future and don't like not knowing what's going to happen.

Tonight after Justin went to bed. I finally pulled out the iron and ironing board so I could iron Drew's clean, wrinkled dress shirts and pants. Charis was hanging around me wanting to help, so I put her to work. I'm thankful that my little helper is often willing to try new things. I just need to have more patience to let her do those things (even when I am sure she's going to be slow and/or make a mistake).

What are you thankful for today? 

18 November 2015

New Vacuum Cleaner #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 18: I'm thankful for my new vacuum cleaner. On Monday morning, our vacuum cleaner died. Since our apartment is completely carpeted (minus the kitchen and bathroom), I called Drew, explained the situation to him, and said, "I'm buying a new vacuum on Amazon today." With two children, I NEED a working vacuum everywhere, especially around the dining room table. All day yesterday, I was looking forward to today. Why? My vacuum was coming. I put it together within 5 minutes and started vacuuming areas within 10 minutes after receiving it.

What are you thankful for today?

17 November 2015

Test Knitting #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 17: I'm thankful for the various times I've been able to test knit. Currently, I'm test knitting the Little Miss Jane Tunic (size 4T) for Taiga Hilliard Designs. I plan to give it to my niece (my sister's daughter) as a Christmas gift. I can tell it's going to be too big for her to where now, but I'm wondering, "How much bigger? Will she be able to wear it next year?" If so, I'm not going to worry about it, but come Christmas depending on how big it is, I might find that I'll be knitting her another tunic that she can wear this year. I'm at the point in the pattern where all I have to do is knit, knit, knit, knit, and knit. While knitting in a round can be monotonous at times, I'm thankful for the instances when it happens especially during the day. When my children are awake, I'm happy if I just get one or two rows knit.

What are you thankful for today? What's on your needles? Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

16 November 2015

McDonalds #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 16: Today was lovely. After Justin woke up from his nap, I fed him lunch, packed up the stroller, and took my children on a walk. We went to the bank to get quarters, swung by Dunkin Donuts to get the kids a donut and mama an iced coffee, and went to the library. When we arrived home, I could not unlock our apartment door. It would not unlock. I double and triple checked to make sure I was using the right key, but still the key would not go in the whole way. I was starting to panic that someone had changed our locks (though I don't know why that would have been the case). I took a final look at my key. Somehow it became bent.

I called Drew and explained the situation. Drew said he'd come home early, but asked if he could finish his current tutoring section. I replied, "Sure, but I'm going to the restaurant with the double arch." Drew, "That sounds like a great idea." Charis and Justin got happy meals, and I got the southwest salad. I'm thankful for McDonalds. We were able to stay warm, enjoy each other's company, and use the facilities.

What are you thankful for today?

Joy: An Irish Christmas Live #MakeSomeoneHappy

There's 39 days until Christmas! The Mommy Island and Kids Did It wanted put together a Super Stocking Stuffer giveaway blog help in order to help our readers purchase stocking stuffers for their family and friends.

Wife, Mummy, Nurse will be giving away Joy: An Irish Christmas Live (check out my review)!

Join modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty for this one-night, live recording from their annual Joy: An Irish Christmas tour. This album showcases fresh and extended arrangements of popular Christmas songs, as well as eight new carols that tell the Christmas story like none other.

15 November 2015

Sabbath Rest #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 15: I am thankful for a Sabbath rest. One day in seven in which we can go to church, worship God, fellowship with other believers, and rest from our work and labor. I'm thankful my son took a nap, so that Drew and I could both sleep too. (Charis played quietly with her toys.) I'm thankful that I was able to read 1 Samuel 1:1-20 with my daughter before she went to bed.

What are you thankful for today?

14 November 2015

Healthy Children #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 14: There are times when I miss the cuddly baby boy, but today, I was reminded to be thankful for his health. After going to the library, I took the kids to the park to let them play. There was only one other family there. As we were talking, she said her younger son is 2 1/2 and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He can crawl, but can't walk or speak. (But, his laugh is contagious.) Instead of being sorrowful about him not being a baby anymore, I need to treasure and enjoy my children at each stage they're at.

What are you thankful for today?

13 November 2015

Day Old Bread #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 13: Having my husband in grad school can mean tight finances. So, today I'm thankful for the free day old Trader Joe's bread I received. When I got home, I put the bread in the freezer. I figured I could use it to make French toast casserole.

I'm thankful to my Father in heaven who gives us this day my daily bread.

What are you thankful for?

12 November 2015

Apple Juice #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 12: Last night, I was up 4-5 times with digestive issues. (If that's TMI, remember I'm a nurse.) This morning I was exhausted, and Drew watched the children allowing me to sleep. When I woke up, he asked, "Can I get anything for you?" I replied, "Apple juice." Every time I'm sick in my stomach, the thing that I most crave is apple juice. Despite not feeling well, I'm thankful I was not flat on my back. Overall, my children were well behaved. I was still able to read and play with my children, and I feel much better.

What are you thankful for today?

11 November 2015

Starbucks Reward #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 11: An hour before we went to pick Drew up from work, I looked at my Starbucks app and saw I had a free drink! I decided to go and splurge on a drink-a venti chestnut praline latte. Let's just say, it's yummy, but way too much sugar. I'll stick to my coffee with cream or latte with no sugar.

What are you thankful for today? What's your favorite Starbucks drink?

Joy: An Irish Christmas Live #Review

This is a sponsored post.

I love Christmas music; I listen to it year round. Even in January, when most people are sick and tired of hearing Christmas music, I have it turned up, in my living room, and sing at the top of my lungs. A few years ago, I requested Joy: An Irish Christmas as a gift (and received it from my MIL)! When I saw Keith and Kristyn Getty were coming out with Joy: An Irish Christmas (Live), I wondered, "Would I like it? I already have "Joy: An Irish Christmas". Would I like the live version?" The answer to the question is hands down, "Yes! Even if you have the first Joy: An Irish Christmas, the live version is different and even better."

10 November 2015

Library Books #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 10: Recently, one of my friends was talking about the trail of tears, and I knew almost nothing about it. I asked Drew for more information about it. And he gave me the Wikipedia (which was more than I knew). Later that week, I went to the library and borrowed The Trail of Tears by Dan Elish. It's only a book for late elementary/junior high students, but I figured I had to start somewhere.

I was in tears when I read the foreward (and it's only one page):
One of the most tragic episodes in this sad history is known as the Trail of Tears. In 1838, sixteen thousand Cherokees were evicted from their homeland in Georgia and forced to relocated to Oklahoma one thousand miles away. Travelling in winter without proper food, clothing, or shelter, four thousand people died en route and had to be buried in shallow, unmarked graves. (p. 9)
That's 1 out of every four (25%) people. After I read that (to mayself), Charis asked me, "Mama, what's wrong?" I told her, "Mama read something very sad."

What are you thankful for today? What books have you recently read?

09 November 2015

Avocados #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 9: Avocados. They are God's gift to humans. It's amazing that something so yummy, fatty, and delicious can grow on trees. This week avocados were 50 cents at Aldi. So, I bought a whole lot more that usual and have been eating them. 

What are you thankful for today?

08 November 2015

Knitting #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 8: I'm thankful for knitting. Shocker! I know. It can be so relaxing, especially after my two lovely blessings go to bed for the night. I'm knitting a scarf for a loved one.

What are you thankful for today? What's one of the most relaxing activities you participate in?

Trim Healthy Mama Plan & Cookbook #Review #MomsMeet #THM

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

I first heard about Trim Healthy Mama when I was pregnant with my second child. Since I had not lost all the weight I gained from my daughter's pregnancy, it was recommended that I look into this eating lifestyle. But when I bought the book, I saw it was 607 pages. I had no clue where to start, so I started from the beginning (but I hate to admit that I have yet to finish reading it). 

When I saw that Pearl and Serene were publishing new books (Trim Healthy Mama Plan and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook), I was excited to see how they turned out.

Christmas Craft Supplies

Currently, I am busy knitting three Christmas gifts for my family. I hope to be finished with all three projects by Thanksgiving, so I can have them wrapped, take them to PA, and leave the gifts at my parents' house.

{affiliate link} If you have yet to start making your handmade Christmas gifts, go shop {online} at Craftsy. They have discounted all craft supplies for today only! Prepare for holiday gift-making with great deals up to 70% off. 

07 November 2015

Vacuum Cleaner #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 7: I wish I liked cleaning, but I don't. It's done out of necessity. Despite my dislike of cleaning, I'm thankful for my vacuum cleaner. I have to vacuum various places in our apartment (especially around the dining room table thanks to the toddler) 3X/day. My vacuum makes things so much easier. It's one of my maids, along with my dish washer.

What are you thankful for today?

06 November 2015

Little Guy #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 6: I am thankful for this little, sweaty guy. Today, it was seasonally warm. As I breastfed my son before his nap, I noticed he was perspiring more than I would have liked (for my comfort).

At first, I started complaining, but I was reminded how discouraged I was a few years ago because we had an "only child". We were not procreating as fast as those in the church wanted. People tried playing God and guessing why God was not blessing us financially.

So when I start being frustrated with my circumstances in life (due to children), I try to remind myself that they are blessings. And that I should treasure my time with them.

What are you thankful for?

In case you've missed the previous #ThankfulNovember2015 posts:
Day 5

05 November 2015

Coloring Books #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 5: Before I had children, I looked forward to coloring with my children. That dream has come true. One of my daughter's favorite things to do is coloring!! Even better, she likes it when I color with her. At Target on Wednesday, I bought Peanuts coloring books-one for her and one for me. I'm thankful for spending time with my daughter and coloring together.

What is the thing you look forward to doing with your children? What are you thankful for today?

In case you've missed the previous #ThankfulNovember2015 posts:

04 November 2015

Homeschooling #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 4: I never, ever planned to homeschool our children. My first choice was to enroll whatever children we had in a Christian school (my husband and I both went to Christian school in elementary, junior high, and high school). But the price of Christian schools in this area is outrageous. There's NO way we can afford them, especially on a single salary... but overall, I am happy that Charis is being homeschooled. Since her birthday's in August, she would have been a young kindergartner. Plus, the schools in our area are not good. It's fun to see the joy in her face as she becomes a "reader" (to quote her) or is shocked when her hypothesis does not pan out in the few science experiments we've done.

Today, I was reminded that homeschool moms do not know everything. In our unit on Lentil, we're learning out Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and the American flag. Since our flag has 13 stripes to represent the 13 colonies, I decided to print off a map of the 13 colonies. I was shocked when I found out that Maine was not Maine, but part of Massachusetts.

I called up Drew on the phone and asked, "Is it true that Maine was part of Massachusetts?"

To which he replied, "Yes."

"When did it become its own state? And why?"

"I don't know, Sarah."

So, I'm asking you. What books would be good to read (for me) about the history of Massachusetts? Or Maine? What are you thankful for today?

In case you've missed the previous #ThankfulNovember2015 posts:

03 November 2015

Nearby Park #ThankfulNovember2015

Justin wearing one of my favorite onesies-
"Don't Scare Me! I poop easily!"
Day 3: I'm thankful we live within (safe) walking distance to a park. We walked to Aldi, the library, and the park. We were only at the park for 30 minutes; the first 20 or so minutes were enjoyable.

Unfortunately, Charis had one of her first life lessons of having her "best park friend" tell her, "Your not my friend anymore. Stop following me. I don't want to play with you." We left early because Charis started being emotional (understandably so) and crying.

At home, I held and hugged her. We read from Isaiah 53:
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crusted for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. (v. 3-5)
I told her that this passage is talking about Jesus. We hated and rejected him, and even though we hated him, he bore our griefs and died on the cross for the sin of His people. I went on to tell her that He was without sin. (Yes, she's heard this before, but I figured, it would be helpful to be reminded of it.) I told her when "friends" say those things, that she should pray to God for help and strength.

What are you thankful for today? How do you handle it when others are cruel to your children? Me, I'm emotionally spent right now.

In case you've missed the previous #ThankfulNovember2015 posts:

02 November 2015

Enthusiasm #ThankfulNovember2015

Day 2: Today, I was thankful for my daughter's enthusiasm with school. She loves learning, especially Spanish.

On Halloween, we went trick or treating, and our Spanish speaking neighbor's were passing out candy. As we were leaving, Charis said, "Gracias!" They replied, "De nada." Charis was so excited that she spoke with them in Spanish.

What are you thankful for today?

In case you've missed the previous #ThankfulNovember2015 post:

01 November 2015

Leftover Food #ThankfulNovember2015

Happy November! This is one of my favorite months during the year, especially with the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve and Day, and my birthday).

Day 1: Today after church, we had a church dinner, and I brought salad and deviled eggs. We had leftover salad to bring home. Sadly, I forgot to pull the deviled eggs out of the fridge, so we had a lot of leftovers.

I am thankful for the leftover salad and deviled eggs that I ate for dinner tonight. On a plus side, I did not have to cook dinner tonight!!

What are you thankful for today?

26 October 2015

Five Notable Children's Books {October 19-25}

Living in a one bedroom apartment with two children can be rather crowded. In order to have my children run off energy, we walk 0.6 miles to the library at least 3-5 times a week. When Charis turned 4, I decided it was time for her to get her own library card. She has to abide by mama's rules:

  1. Since she's five years old, she can only have five books out at a time.
  2. She chooses the books, but I have to approve. Some books have gotten re-shelved, because I said, "No."
  3. She can only have one of these books out at a time: Pinkalicious, Fancy Nancy, Curious George, and Berenstain Bears. I don't have anything against these books, but they are not high quality literature. I want my daughter to have a broad literary experience.

21 October 2015

Sampler Scarf #YarnAlong

I finished my son's rainbow longies, but they're still wet from lanolizing. Hopefully, I will get a picture of him wearing the completed pants soon.

I would like to get a knitting stitch dictionary book, but I'm not sure which one to buy. I recently borrowed two books from the library:
1. Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume One: Knit and Purl
2. Super Stitches Knitting by Karen Hemingway. I am not very impressed with this book. I have noticed a few mistakes in it. Plus, instead of using "yo" for "yarnover", Karen uses "yfwd (or yf)" for "yarn forward, or to the front (knit next stitch)". Meanwhile, my mind is screaming, "JUST WRITE YO!!!!" 

I decided to knit a scarf using various patterns from the two books. This way, I can be sure to get a true picture of both books. So far, I'm leaning towards not getting either book.

What knit stitch dictionary do you recommend? 
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

14 October 2015

Rainbow Longies {An Update} #YarnAlong

I finished knitting the right leg on my son's rainbow longies, and I'm about halfway through knitting the left leg.

I am still working on nursing CEUs, so I'm not reading anything new. A few library books I've read to Charis (and enjoyed) are:

07 October 2015

Rainbow Longies #YarnAlong

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Before giving birth to my son, I had grand plans of stash busting. I hoped to knit a pair of rainbow longies for my son, but the pregnancy flew by, and I never cast on those longies. With winter quickly approaching, I put Christmas knitting on the back burner and cast on Lil' J's rainbow longies.

I am about halfway through the right leg. After using the kitchener stitch to divide the legs, I knit four more rows using the  I knit 4 more rows I am knitting 12 rows for each color-red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.

23 September 2015

Super Undies Giveaway

When it comes to potty training, each and every kid brings a whole new experience.  You have to find something that works for your child.  There are several options out there for training pants... You're probably familiar with disposable training pants, but when they can cost up to $100 per month it's nice to know what other options there are. Super Undies is here to save the day!

They offer several reusable cloth training pants styles to help you find something perfect for your little soon-to-be potty master.  Read Latched On Mom's review of Super Undies Pull-on Training Pants to find out more!

And here is a giveaway!  One person will win a Super Undies Pull-on Potty Training Pants in their choice of color AND one Super Soaker Step-Up insert- a combined value of $22.95!

The winner will be emailed, announced here in the giveaway widget once closed and a shout out to the winner on Latched On Mom's Facebook page will be made so make sure to sign in with the email address you check most often!  You will only have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn.

To enter, just fill out the giveaway form below. Must be 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. Giveaway will run from 9/22/15-10/7/15. Open to US only. GOOD LUCK!!!

Latched On Mom and other participating bloggers did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway, however Latched On Mom was given a free product in exchange for a review. This post may contain affiliate links. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibilty. If you have any questions about this giveaway, or have a product you'd like for me to review, please email latchedonmom(at)gmail(dot)com.

16 September 2015

Why I Don't Watch "The View"

Eleven and a half years ago, during my sophomore year at Grove City College (GCC), I decided to become a nurse. When I announced to my friends after Christmas break that I would not return the following year, I received two replies:
  1. Oh, I think you'll make a great nurse. I'll miss you, but I'm happy for you.
  2. Why do you want to become a nurse? You should finish GCC and go to medical school, because doctors are so much better than nurses.
Statement number 2 is a load of cow manure. (I'm sure you can use another phrase interchangeably, but I will not swear here.) It was hurtful then, but sadly I have become used to the culture viewing nurses as the doctor's gofer. 

Miss Colorado (Kelley Johnson) could have chosen something much more flashy and fashionable as her Miss America talent, but instead she chose to talk about one patient who helped remind her about why she became a nurse in the first place. She delivered an original monologue on her experience as an Alzheimer's nurse. 
Miss Kelly... You are not just a nurse. You are my nurse, and you have changed my life because you have cared about me... I am a lifesaver. I am never going to be just a nurse.
What Kelley said about nursing was needed. As a nurse, I deliver the best care I can to my patients regardless of their background, beliefs, socioeconomic status, etc. I treat my patients (and their family members) with dignity and respect because they are created in the image of God.

Joy Behar and Michelle Collins from The View proved the need for the monologue that Miss Colorado gave. Michelle Collins criticized Miss Colorado because she "basically read her e-mails out loud." She goes on to dig the hole deeper by saying that's not a real talent and others agree. Joy Bahar felt the need to chime in with, "Why does she have a doctor's stethoscope on?"

Joy and Michelle, you need a lesson about the nursing profession. We are not the doctor's gofer. That stethoscope you see around the nurse's neck is her own stethoscope. We are trained to auscultate a patient's heart, lung, and abdominal sounds. We also use it to check a patient's blood pressure. Plus, I'll let you in on a dirty little secret; I have had many doctors ask, "Hey, can I use your stethoscope?" Me, the nurse.

Joy and Michelle, I hope you do not have to be in the hospital anytime soon, but if you do, I hope it will help change your mind about the nursing profession. You will quickly find out the the nurses are there 24/7. Nurses are the unsung heroes at the hospital during the day and night, on the weekends, on holidays, missing church. You will also find out that despite what you said on The View, you will be treated and cared for with dignity and respect, because nurses did not go into the profession for the money.

Joy and Michelle, thanks for the reminder about why I don't watch The View.

15 September 2015

Kindergarten Home School Curriculum

Charis is now five years old! Since we live in the great sate of Maryland and choose to home school Charis, she is now officially home schooled.
Each child who resides in Maryland and is 5 years old or older and under 17 shall attend a public school regularly during the entire school... Maryland recognizes nonpublic schools and home instruction as alternatives to public school enrollment as a means for students to receive regular, thorough instruction.
I filled out and submitted the home schooling notification form to the county 20 days before the start of the school year. This is supposed to be submitted "at least 15 days before the beginning of the home instruction program", so yes, I was procrastinating.

All summer long, I went back and forth between My Father's World, Sonlight, and Five in a row. I believed that if I did not like the curriculum, I was a failure. Drew reminded me that we are taking school year by year (seeing where we are and examining our-and our children's-strengths and weaknesses) and are open to all options (even public school-I know. You may gasp if you need to.). I finally settled on Five in a Row: Volume 1. This post contains affiliate links.

General-Five in a Row: Volume 1 because I liked that it gives you ideas on what to teach your child, but leaves what I want to teach my daughter up to me. I plan on using FIAR to teach my daughter her Science, Art, Social Studies, and Language arts requirement.

Math-Singapore Math. This math curriculum was highly recommended by other home school moms at church. So far, my daughter loves it. There's nothing glitzy about Singapore; it's just in black and white, which I like since my daughter's not easily distracted by it.

Phonics-Alpha-Phonics. This was not my first choice, but the frugality of this phonics book helped me pick this. It is dry and boring, but my daughter has started to recognize 10-15 words after 4 lessons. So far, the lessons (along with review) take about 15 minutes. I still try to read for fun to my children at least 15-30 minutes each day.

Handwriting-A Reason for Handwriting. I only bought the student workbook. I figured I would borrow books from the library and teach Charis a few things about each animal. Let's just say, my daughter needs a lot of practice with her handwriting.

Bible-Long Story Short. We received this book as a gift from my parents, and over the summer, I finally cracked it open. I was very impressed with it. Even though it goes over major Old Testament events, the book is saturated with the Gospel and ties in the New Testament at least 1-2 times every week.

Spanish-The Complete Book of Starter Spanish. I want my children to be exposed to at least one foreign language in elementary school. Since I took Spanish in high school and Drew majored in Spanish in college and received his Master's in Spanish translation, I decided to go with introducing Charis to Spanish. This is a basic book, with lots of coloring. I go over basic phrases with my daughter everyday. Last week, she learned "rojo" and this week, she's learning "amarillo". If you aren't too sure on pronunciation, I would definitely see about supplementing this book with DVDs or CDs.

Do you home school your children? What curriculum are you using this year?

14 September 2015

LÍLLÉbaby Baby Carrier #Giveaway

Back in July, This West Coast Mommy marked two years of blogging. Two years deserves a big giveaway, and this is it! Okay, okay, it's a little late (or a lot late), but better late than never, right? Regardless, she's celebrating two years and some change worth of blogging with this awesome giveaway for a LÍLLÉbaby Baby Carrier.

 Here's a quick summary of the features that make the LÍLLÉbaby Complete Carrier one of the best all-around carriers out there:
  1. SIX ERGONOMIC CARRYING POSITIONS – Includes every carrying position without the need for an infant insert: front-fetal, front-infant, front-outward, front- toddler, hip, and back carry. The Complete grows with your child through all the baby wearing years, from 7 lbs to 45 lbs. The patented cupped seat adjusts to keep baby ergonomically seated in all six carry positions through every developmental stage.
  2. LUMBAR SUPPORT – Increases comfort, maintains healthy posture and alignment, and prevents lower back strain. Combined with an extra sturdy waist belt to maximize parent's comfort.
  3. TWO-WAY STRAPS – Enables wearer to carry "backpack style" or with straps crossed in the back. Dual adjustment buckles simplify breastfeeding and adjusting straps on the go.
  4. SLEEPING HOOD – Features dual adjustment points to provide tailored support for baby's head while sleeping, sun protection while exploring, and privacy while nursing. Removable.
  5. EXTRA TALL, EXTENDABLE TORSO – So comfortable your baby will fall asleep. Provides extra neck and back support and keeps taller babies secure in the carrier. The adjustable width gently cradles baby's head. Elastic straps provide support while allowing for movement and easy adjustment.
  6. POCKETS - Large zippered storage pocket, plus easy reach pocket for storing hood and essentials.
  7. WIDE, PADDED SHOULDER STRAPS & WAIST BELT - Evenly distribute baby's weight for maximized comfort.
Got an older toddler? LÍLLÉbaby also makes the wider and taller CarryOn Toddler Carrier for babies 12 months and up, 20-60 pounds. Make sure you connect with our generous sponsor LÍLLÉbaby on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Win a LÍLLÉbaby Carrier!

One VERY lucky reader will win any in stock LÍLLÉbaby carrier. That's right, the winner will be able to choose any Complete or CarryOn carrier, even This West Coast Mommy's favourite, the new Embossed carrier!

 Enter in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US, 18+. All entries will be verified. Ends Oct 4, 2015 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for posting this giveaway. This West Coast Mommy and participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact olivia@thiswestcoastmommy.com with any questions about this giveaway or to sponsor your own event.

09 September 2015

FO: Diamond Cowl #YarnAlong

I finished knitting my first Christmas gift-the Diamond Cowl. It was a very easy pattern. The one minor change I made was casting on 84, instead of 72. I thought 72 stitches would be tighter than I'd want if it was for myself, so I cast on an extra 12 stitches (the repeat is every 12 stitches and was easy to memorize). The pattern was easy, but not too easy. I could watch TV shows while knitting this, and not get lost in the pattern.

What's on your needles? Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.