Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oh No! It's a Circus.... it's a Flea Circus!

Things are getting exciting around here! I mean it's like a circus! A Flea Circus! It is amazing where our Crew Voyage has taken us!

So what is all the ruckus about?

Let me tell you about Flea Circus!  It is an exciting board game that is truly fun for the entire family!

Readers, non-readers, adults and children alike!



We were sent Flea Circus to try out, and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time. We had so much going on, it arrived on the first day of our VBS. And we had lots of back and forth drop off/pick up happening. We dropped off half the kids at the church, and then had a few hours to kill, before we had to return to the church ourselves. So what did we do? We went to a local restaurant, ordered some ice cold drinks... ( it was the middle of a hot, hot week) and we played this new game..... I played with my 19 year old with special needs, and with my 12 year old daughter. And we really enjoyed it!  The instructions were easy to understand, and the game play was fun, and fast paced!

The goal... the player with the most spectators at their circus WINS!  This game is great for helping with math skills! We worked on our addition and our multiplication facts.  Another bonus, is that the box is small enough to travel! We have taken it with us a number of times, when we needed something to do while out of the house!

Flea Circus is available for $15.95.  R & R games also has a whole line of family games to choose from, check out their website today.. and just because you read my review.. you get a gift! How about 20% off any purchase?  Simply type in  CREW20 to get 20% of any of their products. This coupon code is good through the end of the year.

And don't forget to check out the Homeschool Crew Blog to see what my crewmates have to say about not only Flea Circus, but also Pig Pile!

Disclosure: R & R games provided me with a free copy of Flea Circus in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was offered or received. This review is written in my own words, and makes no guarantees or promises, it simply illustrates this products use in our home.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creating Thirst: A Review of How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids by Rachael Carman

All Aboard!!!! We are about to set sail for our 4th Voyage of

The TOS Homeschool Crew!

I believe that our first item on our voyage was chosen by God. Well, if you take the time to think about it, we remember that our every step is ordered by our loving and wonderful Father God. However, often times we get so busy and wrapped up in our lives, that He ordered, that we do not take the time to notice Him, or thank Him, or even to see Him in our daily life.

We were sent How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids, by Rachael Carman.  After reading the title and the description, I was thrilled that I was chosen to review this book.  However, as I began to read this book, and as I continued through this gem, I realized that it wasn't the wonderful administration of the crew that chose me to review this book.. it was my Father, who worked through them!




In How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for your Kids, Rachael Carman takes us through the acrostic

H- Have a Heart for the Things of God

E - Enrich Your Marriage

A - Accept Your Kids

R - Release Them to God

T - Teach Them the Truth

While, you may read some of those and feel, of course, I know that...however,  while reading this book, and you will peel back layers of yourself and what is revealed is those little places where God wants to talk to your heart. You will be convicted and encouraged as you work through this book. Rachael is your cheerleader, not your condemner!  At the end of each chapter, she has included a section titled "Heart CheckUp" This little section will help you to delve deeper and examine your heart, and make sure that you are on the right path.

I am going to be honest with you, our family has been struggling here lately. The children and I have been butting heads. And God knew exactly what I needed to help set my path straight... It was this book!   I would have told you that I had a heart for my kids, before I read this little book, and yes, while I do believe that to be true, our relationship is growing stronger and better everyday. And that is in no small part due to my change of 'heart'.

Here is just one of the nuggets that really had me reexamine my own heart.  Rachael was reminding us  of Jochebed and her prayer for deliverance for her people, the Hebrews.  Do you recall how God decided to answer that prayer?  Jochebed gave birth to their very delivered!  And here is the the quote that really touched me.. "Could it be that you or I have given birth to an answer to prayer? "

Here is my thought, are we looking at, and interacting with our children, like they are an answer to prayer, and created for a purpose? Or are we simply co-existing with them, or trying to change them, or ...... only tolerating them?

Thank you Rachael for your encouraging words! Thank you for helping me to rekindle my H.E.A.R.T. for my children!

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids, is available from Apologia Ministries for $13. Please visit the Apologia website to see a full listing of all of their products! You will find not only the Science textbooks we have all come to know and love, you will also find homeschool support materials, and books like these, that speak to the heart! Check them out today!

Would you like to see what others are saying about How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids? Check out the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say!!!!


Disclosure: I was given a free copy of How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids, in Exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.  This review is in my own words, and does not reflect any guarantee or promise. It is an honest representation of the products use in our home.




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

For Instruction in Righteousness

I have owned a copy of  For Instruction in Righteousness for as long as I can remember really.. It is published by Doorposts.

I have turned to this handy topical bible in times of training with my children, and I dare say, even with my self. You simply look up the area in which training needs to occur, and you will be taken to bible verses that illustrate how God feels about that sin, and how He blesses those who have overcome, or abstain from that sin.  It will also give you some discipline option for each sin.

It has been a God send in our home! As many of the Doorposts products have!

Here is the exciting news! For Instruction in Righteousness is on sale right now for $18!! Normally $33, if this is something that you need in your family... like mine... then I would not hesitate to pick one up today!

Happy Parenting!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

FREE Bible Study from Grape Vine Studies

Have you heard of Grape Vine Studies? I had heard about them for years, but then a couple of years ago, I was able to review Grape Vine Studies as a member of The Homeschool Crew, and our family really fell in love with their products!  You can see that review by clicking here.

And guess what, they have a FREE study for you for the month of August! You can find it here! The lesson is Joseph - The Early Years.

Check them out, and then have a fun stick figuring through the bible!

The Grace Card - Winner ANNOUNCED!!!!!

Last week I shared about the movie, The Grace Card.. you can hop on over and read  review of it here!

I was so happy that I had the opportunity to review this movie, however, what was better, is that they gave me a copy to give away!!!

So today, I would like to announce our winner...


Drum roll please........


Debbie Phillips, come on down! You are the lucky winner of your very own copy of The Grace Card!!!

Thank you for all that played!  Watch this space for future giveaways!

Have a great week!


Unsocialized and Over Protected Homeschoolers!

Do you have those? I DON"T!

This year, we are beginning our 12th year of homeschooling! I have 2 Seniors, 1 Junior, 1 Sophomore and a 7th grader!  (whew!) Over the years we have heard again and again, that we are not giving our children the social opportunities that they need and long for.  That they will not be able to interact appropriately with their peers, thus impacting their future ability to survive in life. More over, we have been told that we are over protecting them, and not allowing them to experience life around them.


This post in pictures is to serve as a rebuttal to these statements! I believe that my children have the best of both worlds, we have the ability to homeschool and give them the upbringing that we believe is appropriate and necessary. And, we also have them active in our local church body, both serving and worshiping our Lord!  And we are active in our local homeschool group. These pictures  show you a glimpse into just one night, one night celebrating their birthdays with their friends. All 5 kids are born in the summer.. here is their combined party... with their friends... Here are my unsocialized and over protected homeschoolers (NOT!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

With all the Best Intentions

I must say that I sit here looking at my poor little blog... being ignored! I set out 6 or 8 weeks ago with the highest of hopes to post every single day, Monday - Friday! And did very well for several weeks...

And then some daily life set in... actually not our normal daily life. We have had,what you call a jam packed busy summer! Even my reluctant learner is longing for school, because he is hoping that will be we will not be as busy! HA! I have had that same thought many days!  I always feel like once I get through this week, I can rest next week! I think that is because I simply block out what is on the calendar for the following week!

With all of that said, we are beginning to settle in for the year. Our summer has  been filled with conferences and conventions, and workshops and classes, that took us all over Southern California!

Now, with the school year just around the corner, I find myself surrounded by books and forms to fill out! You see, I have chosen a different educational option for my children this year. We are utilizing a local private school that has a homeschool leg. By doing this, my three athletic high school students will be able to play CIF Sports! So for the first time, I am having to turn paperwork in to someone else, versus, keeping it for my self. The forms are different, but the info is essentially the same. And I am working on their deadlines, instead of mine. All in all, what they require is fair, and what we receive in return is priceless. Competitive sports has been the one thing my children felt they were lacking!

So as I wrap up my paperwork, I do plan on getting back to blogging daily. Over the next few days, you will see a few posts, as I get back into the groove of things!

Thank you for sticking with me through my busy season, I look forward to sitting down and visiting with all you again, very soon!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Grace Card Review and Give Away!

I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to review the movie "The Grace Card".  I sat down and watched this movie with one of  my teenage sons. This story about the grace we should be showing those around us, is packaged within a somewhat gritting police drama. The movie is rated PG-13, for some mild violence and some intense drama.  My kids range in age from 12 -19 and this movie would be suitable for all of them!  Check out the trailer below........


"Everything can change in an instant … and take a lifetime to unravel. When Mac McDonald loses his son in an accident, the ensuing 17 years of bitterness and pain erodes his love for his family and leaves him angry with God … and just about everyone else. Mac’s rage stonewalls his career in the police department and makes for a combustible situation when he’s partnered with Sam Wright, a rising star on the force—who happens to be a part-time pastor and a loving family man.

Can they somehow join forces to help one another when it’s impossible for either of them to look past their differences—especially the most obvious one? Every day, we have the opportunity to rebuild relationships and heal deep wounds by extending and receiving God’s grace. Offer THE GRACE CARD … and never underestimate the power of God’s love."

This movie is a very powerful!  Even my teenager was affected by this movie! As we watch the grace that is extended throughout this movie, you examine your own heart, and your own life to see where you need to extend grace!

I am so thankful to have receive the gift of God's Grace, and The Grace Card is a wonderful reminder that we need to be giving grace to those around us!

The Grace Card is available today!  Check them out on Facebook!

I have been given an extra copy of the Grace Card to Giveaway to one of my readers!  Want to enter? See the rules below....

Leave a comment = 1 entry

Leave a comment, tell us when you have been extended grace, or when you have extended grace, and how it impacted your life. = 10 entries!!!  (only need to leave the one comment)

Follow my blog = 5 entries ( one comment telling you are following)

Tweet about the give away = 5 entries ( only leave one comment)

Facebook about the give away = 5 entries ( only leave 1 comment)

Post about this on your blog = 5 entries (only leave 1 comment)

Follow my blog on facebook = 5 entries  (only leave 1 comment)

Good luck!  I will announce the winner on August 23rd!


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services

mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I

only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:

“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

FREE Summer Edition of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!


The fine people of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, are offering up their summer edition, completely FREE with NO STRINGS ATTACHED, in a digital edition.  That's right, you get a complete issue for FREE!

All you need to do is click here and ENJOY!

If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I absolutely love The Old Schoolhouse Magazine! Long before I reviewed products for the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was a faithful subscriber to the magazine!  I have been subscribing since 2005! And I still have every issues that I have ever owned! And even refer back to them often!

Take a moment to check out all that you get in this magazine... and then share the link with your homeschool friends! Let's bless the homeschool community with this awesome gift from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!

Once again, simply click here!  No forms to fill out and no strings attached!

Happy reading.. and as always, Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Family Movie Night: Who is Simon Miller

P & G and Walmart have partnered to bring family friendly entertainment into our homes. And tonight on NBC they are sponsoring, Family Movie Night! Tonight's Family Movie Night is "Who is Simon Miller?". As the title might suggest this is a spy movie... a family spy movie!

What is a family spy movie? Check out what the producers of "Who is Simon Miller?" have to say about this family movie...

"When unassuming geoligist Simon Miller mysteriously disappears one night, the Miller family is thrown into a desperate search to find him. Simon's wife Meredith and their two kids, Sarah, 18 and Kevin, 15 frantically search Simon's office for information. When they find a stash of passports, all with Simon's picture but each with a different alias, they realize that their father has been keeping more than a few secrets. Who is Simon Miller? And what has he gotten himself - and his family - into? Not sure they can even trust the dad they thought they knew, the Millers embark on an international mission to get him back. It's a heart-pounding adventure that tests the limits to which families will fight for each other."

I have to tell you, I really enjoyed this movie!  I can't tell you how many times I have watched those big budget 'spy' type movies, and what do I find? Sure, it might be great story line, but the movie is riddled with bad language, too much violence and gratuitous sex. UNACCEPTABLE!  I don't need to see all that garbage! And these are not movies I could watch with my children.

"Who is Simon Miller?", is an excellent story, it keeps you on the edge of your seat! However, the producers of this movie have gone the extra mile to keep this movie clean, through and through. It is so nice to finally not have quality sacrificed, when producing a family friendly movie. Everyone in your family will enjoy this movie.. mom and dad, all the way to your young kids... boys and girls alike!

Don't miss it! It's TONIGHT!!!  Check your local listings! You can see the Trailer here!  You can follow them on Facebook here!  And here are some additional promos!!

Gather around the family and pop some popcorn, and have a Family Movie Night!!!
“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services

mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I

only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:

“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Graphics Toolbox Tuesdays: Colonial America Project Kit

Check out this video taking you through our Colonial America Project Kit, and why Graphics Toolbox is vital to helping to prepare your students to be competive in our highly visual world!

As homeschool parents, we want to give our children all the tools they need to propel them into their future.  Check out this video to see how you and your children can incorporate Graphics Toolbox into all subjects, all learning styles and all learning levels!



For more information, contact me at and visit our website for more information.