Saturday, November 8, 2014

Goodbye to All My Online Friends

Well, it is the time to say goodbye. I have thought about this for a couple of months and finally made the decision to go. Grace has gotten to the age that she no longer wishes to have her life shared and she is completely most of her work independently now. This leaves me not much to talk about in the homeschooling arena. I think it is time to take a step back and find another direction for my life to go in. This blog was mostly started to chronicle our lives as a homeschooling family. Now that we are reaching the end of this amazing road we have been on since 2nd grade I need to see where this leaves me and what I might want to do with my future. I have met so many great online people through blogging and I appreciate them so much. I will leave this up for a couple of weeks and then change the blog to private until I see what I want to do with all my posts. I wish great things for you all and God Bless.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Back on Trim Healthy Mama - For Real This Time!

Coconut flavored candy bars
Trim Healthy Mama is a great way to go when you want to lose inches and pounds. Grace and myself did THM from January to April or May this year and we each lost 10 pounds and lots of inches. The only problem we found is that when you go off the diet the inches and bloat comes back. Over the past month or so the bloating has really started to bother me from all the carb mixing meals I was eating. So back on Trim Healthy Mama we go!

Red Lobster Style Biscuits
We are about to complete our first complete week back on THM and really it hasn't been that bad. There are a few things that we don't budge on. I eat a couple of squares of 70 percent dark chocolate a day and Grace get a few chips. I have lost 1 1/2 pounds in five days and can already feel the bloat and budge look in the mid section leaving.

Cheese Crips
Research, research, research is what makes this eating lifestyle work. Lots of hours on Pinterest looking up recipes to try that a teenager would eat. I am including links of some of our successes this week:
Baked Cali Tots - We tried this one because Grace's favorite thing in the world is French friends and potatoes. She liked these but didn't love them. To me and Scott they tasted similar to a hushpuppy and we did like them.
Red Lobster Style Biscuits - Again myself and Scott really liked these and Grace was ho hum. There are two versions and I used sour cream. Grace could taste the sour cream which she doesn't like. Next time I will try the whipping cream version.
Cheese Crisps - Very easy to create, only one ingredient - cheese. Supposed to be a crispy alternative to chips. They taste good but did not turn out very crispy. I think next go around they need to be cut thinner to get a crispier texture.
Butterfinger Bars - We needed something sweet in the house and this one was a winner for everyone. It tastes more like an almond joy than a butter finger but that may be due to using a coconut flavored peanut butter as opposed to plain peanut butter.
If you would like to see all the THM recipes I have collected please follow my board on Trim Healthy Board on Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Beauty Beheld

We are trying hard to do some type of intentional exercise a few times a week. On Monday we went on a little adventure just minutes from our front door. Normally we take the same path for each walk but this time we turned to the left and it led us to God' beautiful world.

The destination being a beautiful private lake. Along with lots of fall color.

The walk was strenuous and just what we needed. Hills to get us breathing hard.

It was a glorious hour that I hope to repeat again this week and the remainder of this year before Old Man Winter sets in. What made it even more beautiful was that Scott, Grace, and myself were all able to spend some quality time together, which doesn't happen often. Have you gone outside today to visit God's beauty?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cooperative Costume Party

Getting ready to play the donut game.
Last night our Cooperative had a costume party. Mostly I put this together for our beloved co-director Ms. Shannon who moved away back in May. She was coming for a visit and wanted to see all the kids and family while here. The timing of Halloween and the fact that most of the guys are drama students and relish in dressing up became the them of the party. We had current Cooperative attendees present as well as alumni of the program. It truly was so great to see everyone.

Spider tossing game.
When I discovered that close to 70 children, teens, and their families would be in attendance I knew I needed to recruit some help. My sister is a perfect party planner and game show host so she was my first choice. We planned an evening of Minute to Win It type games and she was Tacky Jack the game show host. Telling jokes and leading the games. My niece, nephew, and my sister's good friend all jumped in to help as well.

Post Its Game
I think all the families had fun. It is always great to hang out with the gang. Lots of laugh, fellowship, and love for each other.

The costumes were great. My favorites were the little Minion and Carol Burnett's version of Scarlet O'Hara.

So much sugar I'm sure the kids were up for hours afterward.
Love these kids!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween - Family Style

Grace hasn't don the true trick or treating thing for a few years, but as all my readers know she loves costumes and makeup. Now that she is older Halloween takes on a different meaning for her. She gets to look at it from the other side. We felt that this was the perfect time to find somewhere to hand out candy so that she could also advertise her Birthday Party business by passing out flyers.

We live in a remote area with only 6 houses on our gravel road and in the 13 years we have lived here have never had a trick or treater come to our door. My sister's house is a different story. My parents also now live there so it was a family affair.

Fun couple of hours for all. Lots of candy eating, jokes, and watching all the cute kids in costumes come by.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Compass Classroom - A Review of Word Up! The Vocab Show

word up
Photo Credit - Compass Classroom

I was completely thrilled when Compass Classroom contacted me about reviewing one of their new products Word Up! The Vocab Show. I currently use one of their other products, Dave Raymond's American History and we love it. I have to admit that I had been stalking Compass Classroom's Facebook page and main website not so patiently awaiting the release date of Word Up. I already wanted to purchase it because quite frankly everything they put out seems great. So while I was waiting to purchase the product I got an email from Compass about reviewing it for them and of course I could not pass up this chance. Okay, enough gushing, let's get to the point.

Compass Classroom graciously sent me at no cost to myself the opportunity to review the digital version of Word Up! The Vocab Show. This program has been on sale this month but the sale ends today, October 31st for the price of $9.99. After the sale ends you can still purchase this great product at the wonderful price of $15.00. This price can purchase you the DVD or the digital version. So your probably wondering what does this include - well I'm glad you asked. The DVD or digital download includes 10 video lessons that teach your child 10 Latin and 10 Greek root words in a very funny and engaging way in each separate lesson. Not only does your student learn the Greek and Latin root words but also English words that are derived from said root words. Compass Classroom has also included links to online flashcards for your student to study the words from each and every lesson. This program is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Currently I am using this program with three 5th grade girls that I tutor a few times a week. Once I am finished showing them all the video lessons I do plan on handing it off to my daughter who is in 10th grade. So far we are watching two episodes a week and discussing the different words we are learning. At this point we do not plan on using the online flashcards and quizzes, but may revisit that at a later date. The program fits in well with another product we are using which also teaches Greek and Latin root words through a card game. Dwane Thomas is the teacher/comedian that leads the students through each lesson. He is funny and very entertaining to watch. Many of you that use Visual Latin from Compass Classroom will recognize him as the same teacher. Learning Latin and Greek root words is helpful in just about anything else your student may study, so it is a big deal to introduce our students to them.
Word Up!
Photo Credit - Compass Classroom
I highly recommend this product as something informative and engaging that just about any homeschooling can incorporate into their weekly routines. I also love so many of their other products. This company is fast becoming one of my favorites of all time. Take some time and check out all that Compass Classroom has to offer.
Disclaimer: I received this product at no expense to myself in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not paid and in no way was I asked to give a good review in exchange for said product. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reliving the Elementary Years

As I have mentioned many times before the high school years just aren't quite as fun as the elementary years. This year I was given the opportunity to tutor three 5th grade girls three days a week. In the beginning it was an adjustment, as you can imagine. I went from one teenager in the house to now also having three younger girls in the house as well. Grace had to learn to be independent very quickly and she has adjusted pretty well. It helps that she is pretty good with kids. So far I have gotten to share some of the great books, lessons, and educational movies/videos that I shared with Grace when she was younger. 

Early on we did a study of Ancient Egypt and created pyramids out of sugar cubes and the country of Egypt out of cookie dough.

This past week we learned a little about Japan and their culture. Wednesday we had Japanese food for lunch and the girls tried California Rolls and eel sushi. The girls enjoyed the sushi. They also created traditional Japanese fans that i forgot to take pictures of.

They are also enjoying Word Up a new vocabulary video program that I will be posting a review for in the next day or so. 

I appreciate so much these precious families entrusting their children with me and letting me tutor them in a hopefully fun way each week.