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Friday, October 9, 2015

Prayers & Scriptures Of Encouragement For The Family (List of FREE Printable)

Often in my life, I have needed to surround myself with visible scripture and prayer. I have typed out, printed, and tacked up so many of them over the years. I decided that I would save you all the time and gather a bunch of prayer and scripture printables that are all ready for you to print out and hang up for encouragement! God bless!

free printables - prayers and scriptures of encouragement!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tips For Downsizing Stuff From A Large Family

As a family of nine, we are constantly striving to downsize how much stuff we have. I think it has to do with wanting less stuff to care for, wanting more time to just care for our kids without other distractions, wanting more space in our 1000sqft home, and the fact that we need to actively choose to live an intentional life. For us, that means downsizing, purging, and living with less so that we can focus on what is truly important: our marriage, our kids, and people in general.

For a family that desires to live with less stuff, we sure have a lot of stuff! We are pretty good about organizing, sorting, and preparing stuff to be donated or sold, but have a harder time time going through with it. However, I have high hopes that we will indeed get rid of a lot of stuff over the next few months.

good tips for how to stay on top of the clutter!

Monday, October 5, 2015

He Was and Is Still - National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Month

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I am remembering my Elijah, born too early and gone too soon. There are a lot of things that I want to say about losing my baby. Today, I will try to put them into words. For me, for Elijah, and for all mamas missing their babies!

There are a lot of things that I want to say about losing a baby. Today, I will try to put them into words.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Ultimate List Of Homeschool Curriculum Reviews

Having been on The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew for two years total, as well as doing multiple independent reviews, I have had the privilege of using and reviewing a large variety of homeschool curriculum. I wanted to put them all in one place, so that you could easily scroll through and read the reviews that interest you. New reviews will be added here regularly.
tons of reviews from a real life homeschool mom

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Getting Fit As A Busy Mom

Working out, exercising, jogging, walking, etc. How on earth can a very busy mom fit any of that into her already overflowing life? I know I can't seem to fit it in!

I desire to be healthy. I want to tone my post-pregnancy body. I want to lose some weight. However, when I have planned ways to become fit and healthy, I have been left feeling defeated before I even tried!

Usually it is the time commitment and the inconvenience of going to the gym, getting outside for a walk, or even going out into the garage to work out that has stopped me from actually following through with my plans! When you have kids and you homeschool, there is never an ideal time to spend 30 minutes exercising, unless you want to get even less sleep than you do!

how can a busy mom get fit and healthy?

Monday, September 28, 2015

13 Ways To Strengthen A Marriage

My husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary today! For 13 years we have grown together. It has been hard, it has been joyous, it has been sorrowful, it has been wonderful, it has been terrible, but most of all it has been life-changing for the better!

In honor of our special day, I thought I'd share 13 ways to strengthen a marriage. These are practical ways a committed couple can grow together.

These are practical ways a committed couple can grow together.

Friday, September 25, 2015

USAopoly Games Review

USAopoly has tons of games and we got to review two of them! Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game and Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone are both great for a family game night. They are intended for ages 8 and up to adult, but my 6-year-old was able to participate quite well.
USAopoly has been creating games and puzzles for many years. They have partnered with a lot of popular brands like Disney, Nintendo, Microsoft, Cartoon Network, M&M’s, BBC and Warner Bros! They have several different versions of classic games like Monopoly, Yahtzee, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, and many more. 
A lot of their games & puzzles are educational is some way. Games are great learning tools and as a homeschool family, we love making learning fun. I think that a lot of the games may help develop gross motor skills and critical thinking skills. The two games we got are brand-new to us, meaning that we've never played anything quite like them before.

a review of a fun and fast-paced game for the whole family!

Wonky is a crazy cube game, just like the name suggests! You have 9 "mostly" square cubes that you all try to stack. However, it ends up becoming a "leaning tower of... blocks", since the cubes are not perfectly square. It takes careful and strategic placement of the cubes to keep them from falling down. Each player takes a turn placing a cube, then counts to 3. If the tower is still standing after 3 seconds, then the next player places a cube. If the tower falls on your turn (before the 3 seconds are up) then you must draw 3 more playing cards. The cards show you which block you can place. You can play 1 card each turn. Once you get rid of all of your cards, or if you successfully place the 9th cube, then you win! It is a fast-paced and exciting game! We enjoyed this game a lot. The kids were able to play this together, since the cards (showing which block the player must place) are just pictures and don't really require any reading. So, even my young non-readers could play.

a fun word game for the whole family!

Tapple is a unique game that I enjoyed! It was kind of like Scrabble, but with a big twist. It was a little harder for the kids, though my 10-year-old did quite well. It requires fast-thinking and spelling skills. You start the timer and then each player takes a turn yelling out a word that starts with a letter on the game piece, then taps the letter to "reserve it" and resets the timer for the next player. You only have several seconds to think of a word using an available letter. There are category cards, which you choose before each round... so one round could be "food words" and another could be "stinky things words", and so on.
Both games were fun and enjoyed by myself and my kids. These are perfect for a group of 2-8 kids ages 8+ and/or adults who just want to have a good time. They are both interactive and entertaining. They can be enjoyed again and again. It is even entertaining to just watch others play them!
 USAopoly Review
 USAopoly Review

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Reasons To Enjoy Fall

Fall has always been my favorite season. September especially is my favorite month. I am sure it stems from the fact that it is my birthday month and as a child that was always something to look forward to. Add in the excitement of starting a new school year and you can see why I would love fall!
There are so many reasons to love fall, come read the list and add your own thoughts!

As an adult, September and fall are still my favorite time of the year, but for many more reasons!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Corrie Ten Boom Book & Curriculum Guide Review

I was given the chance to review Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels' Den from the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series by YWAM Publishing. I also received the Unit Study Curriculum Guide.

Most know the story of Corrie Ten Boom and how she and her family took in the persecuted Jews during World War Two. Keeper of the Angel's Den is written for children, though it leaves all of the important (and sad) facts. I found that it did not go into quite as much detail as the other biography of Corrie Ten Boom that I've read. 
A review of the book and the unit study gude that you can get too!

There are fifteen chapters. The first chapter starts off with Corrie and her family arrested and in German custody! Then chapters 2-6 go on to explain why and how they have been thrown into prison. The story unfolds of how Corrie and her family ended up taking in Jews fleeing for their lives, creating a secret hiding place, and housing them. Chapter 7 reveals how they were found out and taken into custody. The remaining chapters are about their time spent in the gruesome prison camps. Chapters 14 and 15 conclude with Corrie being released and going home. Corrie went on to help victims of the war for years.
YWAM Publishing Review

The Unit Study Curriculum Guide offers ways to deepen the story. You will find ideas and lessons for creative writing, drama, movie critiquing, reading comprehension, essay writing, history, and geography concepts. I received the physical book, but it is now only available in a downloadable format. There are 8 chapters of the study guide and then Appendix A & B with resources. 
Chapter 1 covers key Bible verses.
Chapter 2 explains how to have a display corner and gives ideas for what to put in it.
Chapter 3 is the chapter questions (reading comp.) and has several questions for every chapter of the book.
Chapter 4 is full of ways the student can do hands-on activities and dive deep into the time period and includes essay questions, creative writing prompts, hands-on projects, audio and visual projects, arts and crafts, and language examples including Dutch phrases to read/write.
Chapter 5 talks about reaching out to and talking to people that may have been alive during World War Two or Jews who want to share their family history, as well as local places to visit.
Chapter 6 is social studies with maps.
Chapter 7 offers related themes to explore to round out the unit study.
Chapter 8 discusses ways to bring the book to life through eating Dutch foods, listening to Dutch music, having the students give oral presentations, and more.
Appendix A is a great list of books and DVDs to watch about Corrie Ten Boom and World War Two.
Appendix B is the answers to the reading comprehension questions from chapter 3.
My oldest devoured the book the day it arrived and then looked through the Study Guide. I ended up just using the chapter 3 reading comprehension questions with him, though you could spend a good 8 weeks going through the curriculum guide to make a complete unit study. As always, we love the quality of YWAM Publishing books and are happy to add Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angel's Den to our bookshelf!
YWAM Publishing Review
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Behind The Scenes This Week

Hello Friends! I decided I would give you a look behind the scenes at our life. Have you ever just had "one of those weeks"? Well, that's what I've been having!

This week was suppose to be our 3rd week of our new homeschool year, however, we were hit with a horrible stomach bug last Wednesday and it went through ALL 9 of us! As I write this Tuesday evening, we are still not completely well! We did school through Thursday last week and I am still hoping to get some schooling done this week!

We usually have endless complications with illnesses. This time was no different.

A look behind the blog


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Disclaimer: When I recommend health related products and a holistic lifestyle, I do so based off of my own unique experience and opinion. I am not a medical professional and nothing on my blog is intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything and does not replace professional medical advice. Please do your own research before attempting any of my recommendations. Please read my full Disclaimer/Disclosure HERE.