Friday, September 12, 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Let's Talk Oils - Fall Prep



September marks one year since I tried my first Young Living Essential Oil and I'm so thankful that my friend introduced me to them.

We continue to use and see great results with using oils daily in our home. We started this month taking NingXia Red - 1oz a day with various drops of oils added to it. The kids all line up and love it. I'm  honestly not sure what changes we are seeing because we are all feeling good...coincidence? Who knows. C is also taking BLM everyday since he started football. This is supposed to keep his joints and ligaments lubed up. We also visited a chiropractor for the first time this month to have him get checked. I just wanted to make sure everything was lined up correctly as a preventative measure. He found a bone that is way out of place (like he gasped audibly when he saw the xray - nice) - but this might be causing his migraines. We are praying it stays in place and C doesn't ever suffer through one of those again!

So, since I've told you month after month what we use, this month I'm going to tell you what we are stocking up on for fall/winter/germy seasons....just in case.
  • Thieves. Yes, please. Oil, hand sanitizer, soap, household cleaner, toothpaste, mouthwash, spray...we've got it covered. I love it all! Three of us had sore throats last month and all used the spray - it's strong, but effective! I use it sometimes if I just got home from the store or something to give a health boost. I'm a little addicted to all things Thieves. If you don't have any already, this kit is a great start to stock up your house. Ask me more if you are not on Essential Rewards and interested so I can explain how it works. It is how I get so many free oils! ♥
  • DiGize is a-w-e-s-o-m-e and has replaced Imodium in our house. It has helped us all through upset tummies at some point this year. I will never be without this again!
  • RC - This is awesome for coughs and congestion. I put this on T's feet last week and diffused it while he slept because he was getting sick. He never needed any OTC meds. Unfortunately this is out of stock right now due to seasonal items in it. I love that YL doesn't just invent ingredients if they are not in season, they wait so it doesn't compromise the quality and pureness of it. Stock up on this when it is in stock. You won't be sorry. For now, use:
  • Raven - I use this and RC almost interchangeably. Sometimes I find that one works better on a particular person or symptom. I love this one too.
  • Eucalyptus globulus - ahhh...just the name makes me happy here. I love this smell. Ironically, I always thought I was allergic to eucalyptus. If it comes in a floral bouquet, I always take it out and trash it as I can't stand it. Kinda funny. EG is a great support for any respiratory problems and I love to diffuse it while we sleep.
Those are the big ones I'm making sure we have an extra bottle of (thankfully I got a bottle of RC last month on the couple of days it was in stock!). YL does actually sell a kit with these oils in it called the Golden Touch Kit if you want to try them out. It is in stock right now so hurry if you are interested.

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I branched out this month and invested in a Zyto scanner of my own. We have been scanned several times in the past and are convinced that it helps to better target problems rather than to just wing it. It uses biofeedback to tell you what oils or supplements your body needs most at that time. If you are local and want to be scanned, let me know and I will give you the details. It's very cool! Since it's new, I'm scanning us more often than I should, but it was funny the other night. I scanned and it came up for Balance Complete, a meal replacement powder. It was almost time for dinner and I hadn't eaten lunch because I had been busy. Oops! Crazy that it knew that I was hungry. Oh and once T scanned for Parafree - I thought that was odd since it's for parasites, but remembered he had been bit by a tick the day before. Interesting!

Also if you are local, I'm hosting a class this Thursday to share more about how the oils work and are helping our family. I'd love for you to come hang out with us. Message me on here or on Facebook for details. My ER order goes through on the 8th if you need anything or if you would like to sign up to be a wholesale member yourself so your family will be ready for germy season, let me know and I can hook you up. We haven't regretted this a day in the last year!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Unsolicited advice...

     As we are a couple of weeks into our 7th year of homeschooling, I've finally found a method that is working well for us. Phew. I'm clearly a slow learner - lol. Not really - it just took lots of trial and error to find our groove. I have been talking to a lot of new-to-homeschooling families lately and try to encourage them each find what works for THEIR family and to not compare themselves to other homeschooling families.  Each family and each child is unique and if you try to match your curriculum to other people's, you just might end up miserable. If you are new to homeschooling, take some time to figure out how your kids learn best and how you teach best. Let them explore things that interest them and instill a love of learning. Even within the same family, kids learn differently. You are not trying to do school at home (aka - replicate the public shcool system in your kitchen), you are trying to educate your children at home. Big difference. Don't compare...and have fun!

     Besides not comparing yourself to others, I think you also need to be flexible. Just because something looks pretty at the store, doesn't mean your kiddo is going to love it. And just because one of your kiddos loves it, doesn't mean the others will too. And just because they loved it last week, doesn't mean they will love it this week. And just because you bought it, doesn't mean you have to finish it. Be flexible. If it isn't working, change it up. I have wasted entire semesters forcing a certain curriculum on a child when it wasn't a good fit. There were tears...from the kids AND from me. It was rough. I was venting one day to a very wise homeschooling veteran that a certain child cried and threw a fit everyday when we did a certain thing. She said...then don't do it. Wait, what? I can do that?!? YES! A perk of homeschooling is that if something isn't working you can shake it up. Now, I'm not saying that if your little darling hates math you can scrap it...but I am saying you can do odds or evens, or do them on a white board, with colorful markers, or switch vendors completely. You don't have to suffer! If it is a heart issue, that's another thing and sometimes you just have to push through, but sometimes it's just not a good fit for that kid. Some of our best lessons have been *gasp* not in the lesson plans. Be flexible...and have fun!

     My last bit of unsolicited advice for new homeschooling families is to put God first (ironic that this is last? Saving the best for last? The last shall be first?). When I made the kids schedules this year, Bible is the first thing they do. Most days, it is done before breakfast. I figure that if all else fails and the school day implodes (hey - it can happen), at the very least we have spent time with our Lord and learned more about Him. I love that in our homeschool and in CC, we can find God in every subject. I encourage you to always make time for Him in your school day. I don't promise there will be no tears if you do, but you will have a Friend close by to help you through the tears and give you hope for the future. He cares. Trust Him...and have fun!
And PS...HAVE FUN! Your kids are only young once. Enjoy them!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: UberMath

UberSmart Math Facts Review

Looking for an easy way for your kiddos to learn and practice their math facts? Then look no further than UberSmart Math Facts from UberSmart Software. We were graciously given this software program to review a few weeks ago and have had fun exploring it.

This program that was written by a homeschooling dad, is a downloadable program, so you need to be connected to the internet to play.  It is important to note that this is for Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista only. Sorry Mac users. Up to 8 kiddos can use the program and it is suggested for grades K-6, but I think it really can help older kids also.


Almost all the flashcards we buy, and math drill games we play, only go through 12x12 on multiplication. UberSmart is really uber smart - they go through 20x20! Woot! For CC, the kids have to memorize through 15x15 and it is so hard to find things to help them review these so I was pumped to see this perk. UberSmart Math Facts includes addition and subtraction problems through the 9s and multiplication and division through the 20s. There are drills and tests to see if you have mastered them. You can choose to do one number at a time or mix them up. There is really a lot of variety in this simple program.

The first thing I did when I got the software downloaded was to put Terrific T and Princess P in the program and adjust the time limit on the problems. They both freak out if they know they are being timed and I knew that would make them not even want to TRY the program. So I added in some more time for T and even more time for P so they wouldn't be stressed and could learn to use the program. This is an awesome feature in a program! I appreciate them letting me, the teacher, choose how long they have instead of having a preset time. Then I started to look around and explore. For younger kids, there are dot flash cards to help them learn the facts and typing practice to learn where the numbers are located on the keyboard. For older kids, you can start with straight flash cards. They believe in teaching the problem before you begin testing them on the facts. Another feature that I appreciate in this is it is like actually using a deck of flash cards. You don't just get random cards, you get all the cards in a set - so all the 6s or 13s or whatever you are learning.


UberSmart Math Facts Review

After you do your learning and reviewing, you can take a test to see how you are doing. During the test time, you can see the card before and after yours. At first, this was a little annoying to me and the kids, but as we got more used to the program, they liked being able to look ahead and answer fast. This is like when you do a pencil and paper test - it's not just isolated facts. During the test, it doesn't tell you right or wrong. You answer and it moves on. At the end of the test, it shows you the missed ones and you can go back and do the flash card practice with just those missed number and focus on getting those mastered.  This saves time in drilling the facts you already know. Sweet. We like saving time!

There are also reports available that show how close you are to mastering each problem. Your progress is represented with happy and sad faces in red, yellow, and green, with green being mastered. We hope to get them all filled in green and smiling in the next few months.

I also want to add that I had some trouble when I first downloaded the program (totally MY error, not theirs) and I emailed the company, not mentioning I was on the Crew. I got a quick and excellent reply from the creator of UberSmart, David Kocur. He was very kind and helpful and got me up and running quickly.

I added this into the kids math rotation. It obviously didn't replace their math program, but was a great addition to it. I had them do one set a day (4s, 5s, 6s, etc). I let them choose, as long as they weren't doing 1s or 2s or something. lol.Now that CC has started, I'm having them do the numbers we are skip counting for the week. I really think this will help with Memory Master this year! 10-15 minutes a day will pay big dividends in the end.  In all honesty, my kids don't normally love doing math on the computer, but this is different. It really is like flash cards. There are no games and distractions. It is simple and it works. My kids were happy  that you could get on and quickly get it done. They have games they like to play, but not mixed with math. lol


The software (that you can download and keep for life - no renewal fees or anything) is $24.95. And check this out....They are offering our readers a 30% discount if you purchase before September 30th. Use the code "v4 Early Bird" as the discount code on the purchasing page to receive the discount.

You can click the link below to see what other Crew Mates thought about the software.




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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review - Wizzy Gizmo's audio book!

Wizzy Gizmo Review
My kids love audio books and can normally be found listening to one almost everyday at some point. So when Wizzy Gizmo offered to send  Audio Drama One: Who Created Everything? for me to review, I was excited to have an audio book with a purpose for them to listen to. This is recommended for ages 4-12 and retails on their site for $14.99. It is 36 minutes of high action drama, followed by 24 minutes of beautiful soundtrack music to enjoy.

Wizzy Gizmo ReviewThe founders of Wizzy Gizmo have a passion for getting the Word of God in homes. They don't want you to replace your daily Bible reading with their products but want to add to that time and fill your home with His Word.

We popped this in the van so we could all listen to it while we drove into town. The kids normally listen to things before bed, but I wanted to preview it to see what it was about first. I'm glad I didn't put this on as a bedtime listen!! It was so fun and entertaining that they never would have fallen asleep. The sound effects and dramatized story was exciting to listen to for all of us. Terrific T said he wished it was a video though, because he wanted to see what the sounds were. lol.

The storyline is that a professor has an invention, called Gizmovision, that you can put books on and it will show them to you. They decide to put the Bible on there, and go back to the beginning...creation! The kids get to see (or hear for us) each day of creation. There is a catchy sound track (Princess P said some of the songs sounded like Disney songs - they are upbeat and fun and really are catchy) that goes along with it and then is played alone at the end.

The stories were accurate, in my opinion, and they added in extra facts that several times I was about to say to the kids to clarify or add on to the story, but they did it for me. These are very well done! We just left it in the van to listen to a few more times before sharing it with others.

We all enjoyed this a lot and hope they will make more Wizzy Gizmo stories for more of the Bible. I think listening to this helped make the Creation story more alive and active for the kids. It was fun and easy to listen to and you didn't hear a word in the car while they were listening intently.

Check our more info on this product at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wizzygizmo
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wizzygizmo
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Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/wizzygizmo
 
And click here to see what other Crew Mates thought:
 
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Monday, August 18, 2014

The porch...The porch!

Today was our first day back to Classical Conversations for all of us (Captain C started last week so his pics are from last week and the group one is from today). We have such a wonderful community in CC and love going so much that the kids want to go everyday.

Here are my annual back to school pics of my 9th grader, 6th grader, and 4th grader. It's amazing that I have kids this old since I'm pretty much fresh out of college, right? 


 

 


I love these kids more than words can say. My people!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blog slacker!

Finishing up summer has tried to suck the life right out of me and I've been a major blog slacker! Please forgive me.

We are back in full "Back to School" mode here now - midway through week two. Captain C had his first day of Challenge I on Monday and I hosted my back to school parent meeting last night for the Foundations and Essentials families. We have our back to school swim party tomorrow for the kiddos and then dive in all the way on Monday with week 1 of CC. We can do this!

I love Cycle 3 in CC. It is based around the United States, which happens to be my favorite country. :) The kids will learn all the states and capitals, rivers, regions, mountain ranges, etc and 24 awesome history facts about our country. They will also be learning anatomy and the periodic table. And don't forget John 1:1-7 in English and Latin. I love it!

P will join T this year in Essentials {yikes!!!}. I started them both doing a little Essentials copy work last week and they are both doing great. I think having them both in there will be good - iron sharpening iron. It's hard to get lazy and complain with little sis/big bro is sitting next to you cranking it out. A little healthy competition is good for everyone. I hope.

And our precious little spitfire left us today after 2 1/2 months. There is a DEFINITE void in our house tonight. The silence as I write this is a reminder that she isn't here...it was never silent with her around! I keep thinking someone needs to wake her up or she will never go back to bed tonight. But alas, she isn't up there napping today...she took a long road trip to her new home, in another state. We were blessed to get to know her and honored to be able to pray for her by name for years to come. She was hard to let go, because her future is totally unknown...to us. I'm so thankful that God knows exactly where she is headed and who she is going with and pray He continues to bring people into her life that will build her up and not tear her down. People who will love her, flaws and all. We will always love her and she will hold a special place in our hearts forever.

Well, before I start crying, I'll wrap this up. I have started the kids back to school pics on the porch and will post those next week when I get T and P done too. In the mean time, feel free to click back to see the first back to school pics I posted after moving over to this blog. Man, they were just babies!!