Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Perfect Christmas Presents

Our children have been lucky enough to have a Grandma (aka Bubby) who loves to give them gifts at Christmas that keep on giving.  

We found out about Kiwi Crate years ago and have never looked back!  

 It's a gift that sparks their creativity....gets them thinking....working independently.  Using the highest quality products, Kiwi Crate comes up with the cutest and most inventive crafts for your children.  There is so much learning involved also. With little booklets that explain all about the topic and a magazine that comes with each order. 

All the guess work is taken out of it for you, the parent or grandparent.   I so encourage you to find out more about Kiwi Crates and see if a subscription is right for the special child in your life. 

Creativity kits for kids!

If you think your child would better be suited for a Science themed box every month, then you want to check out their new crate option - Tinker Crate!  How about a crate for the older girls - Doodle Crate. Even the littlest ones have fun with Koala Crate

Kiwi Crate Family Brands >>

We continue to have a blast with our crates each month.   

This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


If you follow me on Instagram, I am sure by now you know that Zachary is hooked on WORD UP From Compass Classroom.    

I love how he works independently and even takes the tests by himself. 

It's the BEST way to learn vocabulary.  Even if you have never been exposed to Latin or Greek roots before. You, as an adult, will have a better grasp of it all! It expands the student's grasp of the vocabulary used in everyday studies.

I feel to strong about the program that I became an affiliate of theirs and am excited to share their Black Friday special with you!  I encourage  you to check them out and find out how WORD UP can help your child learn!  

I am so confident that you will love this program as much as Zachary does, that I am excited to share with you 6 FREE LESSONS to get you started! 

These are my own words and views on WORD UP.

This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bringing Peace to our Home - December Plans

I have decided for the month of December our family will be changing our "normal" holiday routine.  We will continue to spread cheer by donating, baking, praying, visiting, giving back and of course our Christmas Pageant at church, however, our home will be much different than in December's past. 

This year, I have decided that we will be ONLY be studying the lineage of Jesus. Using our Jesse tree and Ann Voskamp's newest gift to us all. 

I will admit, I have not read Ann's other books, mostly for a lack of commitment on my part. However, I had the pleasure of listening to Ann speak and having a moment with her in an elevator at a conference. Just her and I praying together - it was a beautiful moment between two moms, daughters in Christ, women who believed. 

The Tree of Jesse is a depiction in art of the ancestors of Christ, shown in a tree which rises from Jesse of Bethlehem, the father of king David and is the original use of the family tree as a schematic representation of a genealogy. It originates in a passage in the biblical Book of Isaiah which describes metaphorically the descent of the Messiah, and is accepted by Christians as referring to Jesus.

($ 15.59 on Amazon today!  - Hardcover - HUGE book!)

Have you heard of it?  It's more than a book...its a work of art. IF YOU ONLY bought the book for the pictures, you would not be disappointed...however, the meaning behind it is much more than that.  Not only is the book a daily devotion and celebration of Christmas, but Ann has a plethora of free downloads on her site that follow the book...ornaments, sticky notes, scavenger hunts and much more. All following the book!  Activity suggestions...passage readings...ideas...oh I could go on and on.  

WE NEED THIS - our home has been plagued with sibling fighting, yelling and idol worshiping.  We need to recapture the true meaning of the season. Come together and pray as a family. On our knees.  In discipline. 

WE NEED THIS - our home needs to simmer down...get real....come back to the basics. Does it get more basic that Jesus my friends?  No it doesn't.  

We will be putting aside our "normal" school routine and rejoicing in the season.  Eating up the bible as well as the baked goods.  We will be Unwrapping The Greatest Gifts in our home. 

I can't tell you how excited I am to start this on December 1st.

Will you pray for us during this time? 

Pray that we, as a family, come back to the renewed...understand that there are things bigger than US.     

How about you and your family?  What do you do in our home to bring Jesus into the forefront of the season? I would love to hear from you. 

I encourage you to spend the $ 16 on this book (sale at Amazon - find a blogger who has an affiliate link to Amazon and use it - it helps them!) you will be happy you did. It is a book that can be used over and over each year. Make it a new tradition in your home.  

These are my own thoughts on this book. I was not paid or compensated. I bought the book with my own money and was not asked to write this blog post. I just believe in it!  This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.

Linking to:  Shine Blog Hop

Monday, November 10, 2014

Playing Catch Up - Collage Friday on Monday

Every have one of those weeks where your head was just too FULL of "stuff" to put it all down on paper (or computer)?  That was me last week...I didn't even make the Collage Friday in time.   It was a rough week with the children - chalking it up to the full moon!  

Zachary finally got his cast off and is released to participate in soccer and gym class. We do have a splint he needs to wear and that also makes him more confident.  Thanks for all the prayers everyone!  

The weather is beautiful today and suppose to be tomorrow then turning colder!  Not quite as cold as our friends in Minnesota and Montana as snow is making it's appearance this week there!  (jealous!)

We are having fun with our OSMO games, board games and plugging along with school.  If you have an IPAD and am not familiar with OSMO, you should check it out!

I have been getting a little crafting done here and there. These Snowy Owls are easy and cute!  Using a pine cone and some cotton balls. Easy, right!  Thanks to Kim from my church who turned me on to these cuties!

Molly continues to be hooked on Art for Kids (thank you Mary)


We have been able to get together with our friends from Bricks 4 Kidz a few times since October. Tomorrow (Veterans Day) they children are going to a three hour (drop off) workshop - MINECRAFT theme with the Bricks for Kidz people!

We have 1 game left for soccer for the season. Sammie is on fire this year...averaging 3 goals per game!

Off to a Bricks 4 Kidz program....enjoy the day and don't forget to make a difference in someone's life today!  

This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Collage Frightday

Happy Halloween

Howl are you all today?   I can't believe that October is coming to an end already.  We just started back to school 31 days ago (new grades) and it seems like a week ago.  

So much fun last weekend with our Family Halloween Party.  We had 98 of our closest friends (lol) join us for a great cause.  So far we have raised $ 2600 for my friend Danielle to aid her in her financial burdeons her family faces with her cancer treatment. 

School has been good this week. We have been laying low on field trips until Zachary gets his cast off - only a week left!   I will admit it's been challenging to find activities for Zachary to do without using his right hand.  He has fallen behind in cursive and math.  He will have a lot to catch up on once he has full use of that hand. 

LEGOS are always a part of our school and this week we made some fun Halloween scenes.  Zachary started The Call of the Wild and Molly and Sammie have been creating a lot of art this week. 

I had Zachary start watching the CNN Student News each morning. Lots of reading going on and his aunt sent him a real funny card (get well)....

Since he broke his hand he has been begging asking for my homemade cinnamon buns. I told him as long as he will help me make them and learn about the Science of yeast, then we will make them together.  Can't you just smell them?  

One field trip we did have this week was our Bricks 4 Kidz.  We got together (at our homes) with three other homeschooling moms and their children (some we knew and some we just met) for this program.  The children paired up and worked as teams to make their builds.  The topic was Then and Now...Sailboats vs. Mars Rover.  All the builds used motors and the kids had a lot of fun. We have three more sessions scheduled up until the beginning of December.  Afterwards the children (ages 4-13) all went out to play and I must say, it's so pleasant to see children of all ages play and have conversations together without judgement or favoritism.  

Saved the best for last this week - if you are a follower of me on Instagram you will know that Molly has been obsessed with this website Art of Kids    Thanks to Mary at Homegrown Learners, we are now HUGE fans of Rob and his creations.  Molly has already started her portfolio with over 20 pictures and adding more every day.   She certainly has a talent and eye for art.  Hoping an intervention is not needed. lol

Don't forget the Giveaway from Build a Menu is still open for a few more days and there are under 5 entries.  All you have to do is LIKE their FB's a no brainer for such a great product!

Come on over and join me for Collage Frightday Friday with other Homeghoulers homeschoolers. 

This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Build a Menu - Giveaway

Homeschooling Moms Create Web-Based Tool to Help Families Eat at Home and Save Money 

Eating at Home Leads to More Family Time, Cost Savings and Healthy Meal Options

With 11 homeschooled kids between the two of them, ongoing Ministry involvement and jobs, sisters Karee and Lisa created Build a Menu ( as a way to make menu planning and grocery shopping a little easier and healthier. The goal is to help families save time and money. More importantly, using Build a Menu enables families to eat dinner at home and spend quality time together.

What is Build a Menu?

Build a Menu is a web-based tool that lets busy families choose which meals their family will most enjoy, estimates how much their groceries will cost, and builds a complete, easy to use shopping list. Menus can be linked to grocery stores to take advantage of weekly sales and can be tailored to health needs such as vegetarian, low carb, low fat/sensible portions, clean eating and allergy friendly. Shopping lists are broken down by category while recipes always use practical ingredients.

Giving Back

It should also be noted that Build a Menu is committed to helping orphan ministries around the world one meal at a time. For every member who joins the site, a donation is made to orphan care charities- not just once, but every single month a member uses the service. 

I encourage you to read their story about adoption and giving back!  You can go to their website for more information.

Karee and Lisa are shining examples of women who have capitalized on their faith and passion to help other homeschooling parents save money and live healthier lives. 

Connect with Karee and Lisa on Pinterest - Follow along as they pin a ton of ideas to help you go from planning to putting it on the table!

Build a Menu is so confident that you will love their product they are giving away a month FREE to a lucky winner!    To enter, use the Rafflecopter below and Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(This is a sponsored post that I was compensated for.)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Collage Friday - BOO!

Happy Friday to you!  I am glad you made it through the week and have joined me and other homeschoolers as we recap our busy weeks over at Homegrown Learners - Collage Friday!

It's been a quiet week, as far as running around goes, here at The Joys of Home Educating.  Zachary, of course, has been laying low with his broken hand and the weather has been rainy, so really no field trips to speak of this week. 

We have been preparing our home and hearts for company this weekend. It's our Annual Family Halloween Party tomorrow and we are expecting over 95 guests with 10 of them staying with us!  This year our "charity" that is attached to our party is for my friend Danielle - who is battling cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant (stem cell).  I am begging you to please pray about it and if God leads you to donate (even $ 10) then please do!  The family has a $ 5000 deductible when she goes in for the transplant and we are doing our best to raise at least that!  Thanks in advance if you already did donate!  (you can go to the picture of her on the right side of the blog GO FUND ME button to donate with a credit card).

We have been having a blast with our new OSMO games. If you are not familiar with this IPAD interactive device you should be.  You can check it all out here at the OSMO site.

  Zachary has been typing everything since he can't write and I had him working on an excel spreadsheet for me.  

We have been playing a lot of board games, seems to be the case when it's rainy outside.  

Also reading a stack of the Alexander books preparing Zachary for a day out today with his Grammie (movies and lunch out). 

Last Sunday I took a workshop at our local library. The topic was Halloween make up tricks.  I was the only one who showed and HUZZAH for me since the teacher and I had a blast with all kinds of fun tricks I can incorporate into our party tomorrow!

  Fake Blood Recipe:  Karo Syrup, Liquid Chocolate Syrup and red food coloring (fully eatable)

Molly is helping out on the "scary" side of the Trail of Terror and we practiced some make up on her.  LOVE IT!  Decorating the house all up and Sammie will be Dorothy on the Spooky Trail (for the little kids) - we have a play house that we moved into the woods and have the wicked witch legs coming out from under it.

We have live "monsters" and characters for our haunted trail and a hay wagon ride to get there!   There will be dancing, good food and fellowship!  Praying we raise a ton of money for Danielle and her family!

We continue to pray for many people who need healing and for the people infected with this horrible Ebola virus.  It's hit NYC and that's too close to home for me. 

You can also check out the latest Mom Mentor post at Graham Blanchard to see what the group shares with you this month!

Watch for Monday's post as there will be a fabulous giveaway that all you moms and/or dads won't want to miss!
Until then - follow me on Instagram if you are curious about our party this weekend - many updates!

This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links. You can see our full disclosure policy at the bottom of this blog page.
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