Wife, Mummy, Nurse: September 2016

30 September 2016

Gold Miniature Display Tree #Review

This year, I am excited for Christmas. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. Last year, we did not decorate anything. Space was cramped and tight and decorations took a back seat. Next week, we are moving to a bigger place, and I'm already looking forward to decorating for the season. 

Hallmark recently sent a gold miniature display tree and a 12 little days of Christmas: set of days 1-3 mini porcelain ornaments. The tree is perfect for placing miniature ornaments on it. You can place the tree on top of a desk, bookshelf, table, or mantel. It has a gorgeous gold finish with room for 12 ornament slots and is perfect for holding the "12 Little Days of Christmas” mini porcelain ornaments". The first three days include a partridge in a pear tree, a turtle dove, and a calling bird. They are made of porcelain with intricate hints of gold and bisque. The second set (Days 4-6) will be available on October 1, 2016.

My thoughts: My favorite product is the tree. I was a little uncertain when I first read that it had a gold finish, but the gold finish is muted, which I like because it's not gaudy. I plan to use the tree year round. For example, for Thanksgiving, I plan to cut out little leaves and write things I am thankful for on the back. For Valentine's Day, I plan to place small, individual size candy bars on it. 

The detail on the mini ornaments is wonderful. The white and gold gives it a simple, elegant look and will not clash with your other Christmas decor. When my daughter had the ornaments, I kept worrying that they would break (which they did not). The ornaments are very dainty, so I plan to keep the tree out of my children's reach when the 12 days of Christmas ornaments are placed on it.

Are you looking forward to Christmas? What is your favorite Christmas decor?

I received the gold miniature tree and the first set (days 1-3) mini porcelain ornaments for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way. 

29 September 2016

Baby, Baby #Review

This is a sponsored post.

One of my son's favorite words is "baby". He loves singing, "Bye, bye baby. Bye, bye." He has also started to actually sit still long enough for me to read him a book or two. One recent book we have recently read is Baby, baby, written by Diane Stortz and illustrated by Ailie Busby.
Babies enjoy books, looking at other babies, and their own flowering abilities. This short rhyming poem combines all three in a sweet and happy way, while introducing babies to God's love for them. The simple words are paired with colorful images of babies engaging in familiar activities, allowing the book to be used as an introductory concept book as well. And it ends with a reminder that Baby is always loved by God.
My brief thoughts: Overall this book is cute. It rhymes. Some of the rhymes did not work as well as it could have. For example, the last few pages had "Baby smiles and Baby nods. Baby's always loved by God." If the author was able to make nods to nod, it would have worked better. But I had to remind myself that Baby, baby is not Shakespeare. It's for babies, and my son enjoyed this book. At the end of each page, I would demonstrate the activity that the baby was doing.

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.

19 September 2016

If You Were Me and Lived in... the Middle Ages

This is a sponsored post and contains affiliate links. As a homeschool mom, I love finding new books for educating my daughter-not necessarily for a full curriculum. Sometimes I just enjoy finding books that will peak her interest in learning more about a topic. When I saw that Carole P. Roman has now written books about different civilizations, adding to her "If you were me and lived in..." books, I wanted to check these books out.
Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in her exciting new series. Learn what kind of food you might have eaten during the Middle Ages, the clothes you might wear, what your name could be, and children did for fun. If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture. So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you.
I really wanted to like If you were me and lived in... the Middle Ages (written by Carole P. Roman). As a young girl, I remember loving history and enjoyed learning about it. I like that Carole tries to get the readers attention by writing from the viewpoint of a young child whose father was a knight. At various points throughout the book, it compares different people in the feudal system.

When I read Carole P. Roman's book for the first time, I immediately noticed three errors. The error that is most glaring is on the cover, which should read "If you were me and lived in... the Middle Ages". Instead, the cover has "If you were me and lived in... Middle Ages". The information was presented in a dry, boring way and easily attainable information. My daughter usually loves when I read to her, but after reading for 20 pages, she said, "I want to read something else." Meanwhile, I thought, "Me too." So we put the book down and picked it up later.

What's your favorite time period?
I received a copy of this book for the purpose of review.
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

15 September 2016

The Biggest Story Audiobook and DVD #Review

This is a sponsored post and contains aff. links.

Both my husband and I were raised in Christian families and went to various Christian schools growing up. In Christian circles, it is far too easy to: get so focused on the do's and don'ts of the Bible (become legalistic) and forget the big story. Too often I think that I can do it on my own: I just have to spend more time in prayer, read the Bible more, fellowship with other Christians, and then I can look and see what I did. This thinking is horrible and detrimental. "Our story is the story of God doing what we can't, in order to make up for us doing what we shouldn't." (Kevin DeYoung)

I recently discovered The biggest story by Kevin DeYoung. My whole family enjoyed it. At least 3 times a week, Charis asks, "Can I watch The biggest story? Can we listen to it in the car?"
The Animated Short Film: Featuring beautifully animated illustrations adapted from the book, The biggest story: The Animated Short Film will captivate children and parents alike as they see how all the classic stories in the Bible connect to Scripture’s overarching message about God’s glorious plan to redeem his rebellious people.

The Audio Book: This audio book of The biggest story—written and narrated also by the best-selling author Kevin DeYoung—leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ's death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.
Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI, husband to Trisha, and father to seven children.

My thoughts:

This is a very quick introduction to our need for Jesus; we are utterly dependent upon Him. Kevin DeYoung goes through the Old Testament covenants: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. In every single instance, The biggest story emphasizes that these men in the Old Testament (despite being chosen by God) were not perfect; they failed.

The animated film has many bold colors, but it is not too fast. In my opinion, it was the words of what was being spoken that were emphasized. My daughter has already started quoting many parts of The biggest story.

Don't tell my nieces and nephews this, but I now have another item to put on my list of things to get them for Christmas!

Great news! You too can own the animated short film and audiobook by buying them at those looks. Or enter to win a copy of each for yourself in the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, 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.”

13 September 2016

FO: Missoni Inspired Scarf

In August, I knit myself a scarf. Yes, I may have been a bit crazy; it was warm in Maryland. Plus, there were two KALs that I knit it for: Ravellenic games 2016 (with Team Knit Equals Joy) and Gilmore Girls KAL (with Geeky Girls Knit and The Knitting Broomstick).

I used the Missoni inspired scarf as a guide, but changed it up a bit.

Notes: Cast On 41 stitches. I knit a garter stitch border of two stitches on each side. Between the border: K1 SSK K6 YO K1 YO K7 *MD K7 YO K1 YO K6 K2TOG K1. (*MD is mitered decrease. Slip 2 stitches together, K1, pass the 2 slipped stitches over.)

I knit 20 rows of the following colors:

Alpaca love (discontinued) (Pink)
Brown sheep Lamb's Pride (Lemondrop)
Paton's classic wool (Gray)
Full o' sheep (Clementine)
Paton's classic wool (Blue)
Full o' sheep (Red)
Alpaca love (Green)
Paton's classic wool (Light grey heather)
Full o' sheep (Dark pink)
Paton's classic wool (Natural)
Cascade 220 (Brown)
Full o' sheep (Green)
Full o' sheep (Purple)

The above colors were only knit from my stash, either randomly or picked by Charis.

What's on your needles (or hook if you crochet)? What project have you recently completed?

12 September 2016

Our Homeschool "Room"

I've posted before that my family and I livee in a one bedroom apartment; it's about 700-750 sq. ft. Let's just say, I either laugh or cry when I see different homeschool rooms. We don't have a homeschool room. Despite being difficult to homeschool in a small place, it can be done. It can be far too easy to covet, but just remember to keep it simple. You do not need a lot of materials to homeschool, just patience (which is needed anyway), books, and a notebook.

Homeschooling is done anywhere and everywhere in our apartment. In the photo to the left, Charis is doing her math book in our bedroom. In the photo to the right, Charis and Justin are at the kitchen table doing school work while I'm getting lunch ready.
Last year the only object I bought that was to place on display was a map of the world:

We use this map daily. Everyday, while Charis eats, she asks questions about the map, "Where is X country? What continent is X on?" Or she's teaching Justin where different countries are located. I have been pleased with the purchase, plus it takes up no room (other than wall space).

Linking up at iHomeschoolNetwork.

Our First Grade Homeschool Curriculum

Last Tuesday, my daughter started 1st grade!!! Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that I was blogging about breastfeeding her and using cloth diapers on her. Today, I spend my days teaching her.

We're using Singapore Primary Mathematics 1A and 1B (textbooks and workbooks) this year.

We'll be reading the literature suggestions aloud and continuing with Alpha-Phonics and handwriting.

Social studies
Last year we primarily used Five in a Row, and I loved it. I plan on using it on my son when he's in kindergarten. This year, I wanted something more chronological, especially with history. We're using Story of the World volume 1, but we're not starting this until October (after we move to our new rental house).

Now, I'm currently using Five in a row; we will be rowing through the remaining books we have (in volume 1):
Stopping by woods on a snowy evening by Robert Frost (completed last week)
Very last first time by Jan Andrews (working on this week)
Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Storm in the night by Mary Stolz

I did not purchase a curriculum. I am going through the science chapter in What your first grader needs to know. I'll have my daughter read various books about those topics and complete a worksheets that I find on Teachers Pay Teachers and other educational websites.

My daughter loves art; me-not so much. Since Charis enjoys it, I am going through The Usborne complete book of art ideas and working on different techniques and projects suggested in that book. Charis will also study three different artists this year: Leonardo da Vinci, Diego Revera, and another TBD.

We're going through Music: Hit the right note! When I find free worksheets, I print them off and have her do them in order to add to her portfolio.

Health/Physical education
Honestly, I think of these more as together, but the state of Maryland separates these. I also don't plan a ton of things for health and physical education. If I find a book at the library that pertains to either, I borrow it, read it to my daughter, and have her fill out a worksheet about the topic. For PE, I just try to get my children out of the house and walk to the library, the playground, Aldi, etc. with them. 

We're still working our way through The complete book of starter Spanish. Currently, we're learning the Spanish alphabet and learn 2-3 new letters each week.

The biggest thing we're doing in this area is having consistent family worship and learning these Scripture verses from verse pack 1 at Simply Charlotte Mason.

What curriculum are you using in your homeschool?
Linking up at iHomeschoolNetwork.

06 September 2016

Treating Myself #SocialSummer

I rarely get time to have me time to treat myself alone. (After all, I am a mom with two children-one homeschooled and a toddler.) About once a week, I go buy iced coffee from Panera Bread or Dunkin' Donuts. Afterwards I walk, with my children, to the park. While they're playing, I sit on the bench, often knitting or listening to an audio book. 

When I'm finished with the coffee, I often push Charis on the swing 6 times-not five times or seven times; it has to be six times because she's "six years old now." Then Justin and I toss around whatever ball we brought to the park. 

Sometimes, it can be very easy for me to feel sorry for myself since I don't get to treat myself alone, but I would not trade the interactions I have with my children for alone time.

What ways do you treat yourself? This post was written as one of the prompts for the summer blogging challenge by social insiders.

03 September 2016

Night Night, Farm #Review #Giveaway

Every night before my son goes to bed, I read him at least one book. He often chooses one book, and I choose another book. Lately he has been loving Night night, farm by Amy Parker. (He even grabs it throughout the day, running with a big smile, wanting mama to read it.)

About the author:
Amy Parker’s children’s books have sold more than 800,000 copies including two Christian Retailing’s Best award-winning books and the bestselling A Night Night Prayer. She lives outside Nashville with her husband and two children.
After a busy day on the farm, the sun sinks low. The baby animals are getting ready for bed and cuddling with their Mamas and Daddies.

Overall, I thought Night night, farm is a cute book. The illustrations are vibrant and colorful. The book teaches children what animals say. It also introduces children to rhyming. The last pages teaches children that God not only made the animals, but made children as well. The book closes with saying, "Night night, God." Note: I don't have a problem with the book closing this way, but I also made a point to tell my children that God never sleeps. God's always awake, watching over us. (See Psalm 121.)

Great news!! You can enter to win a book for yourself. My son has requested this book every single night for the last week, so it may become a frequently requested book in your house.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your child's most requested bedtime book? If you won, who would you give this book to?

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, 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.