Friday, May 27, 2011


I have made progress in my Bible reading.  I had a friend step up and volunteered to hold me accountable.  It helps knowing that if I don't read than she might wake up on the Pacific coast and question my lazy rear! So here is my progress.  Ok and because I am struggling with rearranging pics on the blog this morning you have the after first.  Scroll down for before!
 I have almost closed the gap in March.  Today's reading is partially done because I was busy in the March readings. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Still Behind

Going on record to say that I did manage to get up this morning and have some quiet time.  Now that BSF is over I am trying to catch up on my chronological reading plan via youversion on my iPhone.  So heres the deal........I'm behind!  Nothing new there.  But for the first time ever it bugs me to be behind.  The next few weeks will find me doubling and tripling my reading in the morning until I am caught up.  Then I will take it day by day and journal some of my thoughts on the passages I have read.  Since I am lacking blog material I might post a few of those notes here.
Just to show you how far behind I am.... the red is all dates I haven't completed.  I didn't realize I had missing dates in March this morning or I would have started there.  I did connect March with April this morning.
Hold me accountable if you feel led.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Getting Closer

We are getting closer to the end of our school year.  We have about three weeks left.  Hannah has wrapped up her classical conversations Challenge A class so she spends her days helping me read to others, reading books that she never go to, or working on some project or other.  I have senioritis still!  My new curriculum guide is here and I have been looking it over.  My planner also arrived so I have been working on setting that up.  Plans are being made to gut the school room in June and start over fresh.  Not with furniture but with supplies and books.  A little rearranging is in order as well, i think.
I'm excited about next year.  It will be a new program for us both with My Father's World and Classical Conversations.  I needed change.
I need to get back on the bandwagon of getting up before seven and doing my quiet time. With BSF over I have become very slack in my daily time and since my iron tanked I haven't been able to manage getting up before seven except for when I served on a Tres Dias weekend where I lived on caffeine for seventy two hours!
Growth is happening in this house.  Growth in our kids character and John and I's.  Honestly sometimes it would be easier to just be my old self.  So pray for our family as we work on our relationships.  Rebuilding some damaged bridges, finding joy in being a mom, wife and homemaker again.  True joy not just a fakey "yep wouldn't change a thing" joy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

TOS REVIEW~ Student Writing Intensive Level C

Oh my a review for a writing program!  That was my first thought as  I received Institute for Excellence In Writing's  Student Writing Intensive Level C  for review.  You see I have a 9th grader who strongly dislikes, ie hates, writing.  You can’t blame her, as I strongly disliked writing in high school as well.  I still do, although I am no longer in high school!  With my dislike for writing, it trickled down in our homeschool to me not wanting to teach writing and thus avoided doing so.  Obviously that was not beneficial to my kids.  So with Student Writing Intensive Level C in our possession we dove into the first video lesson.  Level C is geared towards 9-12 graders. The reaction was this....

yes that is a smile on my “I hate writing” daughters face.  My other daughter is a camera avoider but it’s a good shot of the binder :)
Here is a brief video introducing Student Writing Intensive.  I think you will find it helpful to see and hear Mr. Pudewa himself.

The videos were shot live in a class setting so your child feels as if they are in the class with other students and Mr.  Pudewa.   Here is a short you tube video giving you an idea of the setting for level C.
Mr. Pudewa is engaging and  light hearted with the students.  He encourages, directs and teaches in such a way that my 9th grader just had to join along.  Yes, they thought some of the jokes were corny but they were smiling.  We didn’t make it through the whole program yet but plan on taking the summer to wrap it up.  Just in the amount we did though I saw a confidence blossom in my daughter’s writing.  As we continue with the program and broaden her skills to enhance her writing, I believe that moving into her 10th grade year she will be a more confident writer.  
SWI Level C is $99.  It contains four DVD’s, a binder with dividers, and a packet with the teacher’s notes, handouts and checklists.  The handouts were able to be copied for same family use.  There are 15 lessons included.  You can choose to do one lesson over one or two weeks making this program anywhere from 15-30 weeks long.  
I also received Structure and Style Overview DVD.  It introduces you to the style of teaching writing that this program uses.  Available for download off the website are additional handouts to help you teach the course to your students.  The DVD is available for $10.  IEW also sent along a portable wall (pictured below).  This portable wall offers several bulletin boards full of information to be used in conjunction with the structure and style program.  It offers synonyms for overused words, strong verbs, prepositions, -ly adverbs.  It also gives highlights for each of the 9 units.  So compact that it fits inside the students notebook.  A great resource for $7
Institute for Excellence in Writing offers many other writing products for all levels of writing. 

Come on over and see what my crew mates thought of the program here.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product for review purposes only.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011



GoTrybe is a web based fitness program that incorporates fun easy workouts that kids can customize along with health and wellness related questions.  You can read their full description of their product here.

I prefer my kids to get outside and play rather than be in front of a monitor doing exercise.  But some circumstances like months on end of snow on the ground (not here in Texas mind you), or no yard could make this a great fit for a family,  For us it was a hard review because we are active outside.  GoTrybe, being web based,  required us to set up the laptop in an area where the kids could move around while viewing a small lap top screen.  It was not an ideal situation for us.  However the workouts were challenging and got the kids heart rates up.  We were signed up for the high school level which was  nexTrybe.  Other levels were zoodoos up to fifth grade and Trybe180 for 6-9th grade.
My 14 year old daughter enjoyed being able to pick her warmup and activity videos.  She could customize her workout based on a particular sport or mood.  There were so many videos to choose from a teen could easily find something of interest to them.  She would choose a video for warmup, cardio, strength and flexibility.
In addition to the workout videos they could move on to nutrition, motivation and wellness questions.  For nutrition a small paragraph would be presented with a multiple choice question.  A correct answer would earn them points, which I will discuss in a minute. The motivation portion is a video that offers insight from some of the instructors.  The one I just watched was silly with no real motivation. Wellness is also a brief video that offers advice and information.  Being that this is for high school level I found these last three parts basic and not challenging at all.
Everything they do on the site earns them points which they can use to customize their avatar.  If racking up points on a video game is a good motivation for you kid then the point system might work for them.
Like I said we are big on getting outdoors and moving.  GoTrybe isn't a great fit for our family but it might be for yours. You can try them out for free with the code GETFIT.  If you like it you can then subscribe for $19.95 which is a reduced price.  Cheaper than P.E. classes or a gym membership but still screen time in my book.
See what my other crewmates thought of here.
Disclaimer: I received a free subscription to GoTrybe for review purposes only.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all!

I'm without electronics this weekend serving on a retreat but I have this auto posting (hopefully).  My present this year came early.  John and I had been discussing getting a chair/recliner for our bedroom for me to read and relax in.  We picked one out, fabric and all, last January or so but never moved forward on it.  We were going to use the tax return but never did or so I thought.  I'm pretty sure I brought that point up in a disagreement we had as well.  John came to pick me up from one of my iron the van. It is a 14 year old vehicle but I thought it odd that he picked me up in that.  He knows how much I love the ride in the truck.  But whatever, I was high on benedryl.  He treated me to lunch at Jason's Deli and we headed home to eat it.  I walked into the bedroom and the first thing I noticed was how clean the dresser was!  Seriously observant.  In the window bay was this beauty
It's a lazy boy if you can believe it.  It reclines while still looking like a chair.  It has the yummiest fabric on it too.  The dark brown is actually fuzzy.  My kids try to pet my chair but I tell them not to touch.  This baby is mine all mine.  Of course John was the first to recline in it, a privilege he earned by carrying it by himself into the bedroom.  And here are the reasons he bought it for me
I plan on locking this one up before she discovers boys!

I love this picture.  She NEVER lets me take her picture. 

Tree climber

Another tree climber

Girl has her own style!