November 30, 2013

Sabbath Silence for November 30th

I hope you all had a most wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family this week!
Here are a few graphics I worked on recently...enjoy!


November 29, 2013

Deals and Steals for Black Friday

I don't know about you, but I'm getting all KINDS of emails about deals and steals right now. It's sometimes hard to remember or keep track of the ones you want to check out or the ones you saved for later. So I decided that I would do a blog post of the deals and steals that caught my attention from the companies I love the most. Most of these WILL be for homeschooling, but not all, so make sure you check them out!

If I see more pop up in my email, I'll be adding it on, so you might want to check back in every now and then to see if you missed anything! And I want to add that some of these will be affiliate links--you can see my disclosure policy here--and I appreciate you using them!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom is offering an incredible LIMITED TIME OFFER of a $10 lifetime membership to her amazing printables store! She is granting you FULL access to all her creations past, present and future for this incredible price!

Click HERE to get signed up and use the code: ehm2013blackfriday for your 33% off discount!
Blue Manor Education is offering a great deal of 25% off everything in their store AND free shipping for order $75+! I reviewed Blue Manor's Preschool curriculum and it was very well done, so I recommend that you take advantage of this great deal!

Just visit the store and use the code: 25BlkFriday 
Hearts at Home is offering great discounts on popular products. They are also offering up a $5 gift certificate to anyone who makes a purchase during their Black Friday Sale. Go check out their great products and snag some of their free workbooks!
This deal comes from Homegrown Learners! If you are in need of a simple and effective music appreciation curriculum for PreK-Middle School, this is for you. As a piano teacher, I've checked this out and I love it and we use it in our own home because it's very effective. Visit the SQUILT site to find out more, and use code BFRIDAY at checkout to receive the discount.

I cannot tell you enough about the deals and steals going on at right now. In fact they have some that are such a limited time offer you have to act immediately to snag them before they are gone--from Disney Storybook Collections on sale for a mere $5 to Lego Sets 50-60% off to Brother and Singer Sewing machines 50-60% off to all things electronic with deep discounts. 

Right now you can use the code: BOOKDEAL and get an additional 30% off (up to $10) any eligible book sold and shipped by Amazon! If you are looking for great deals, you need to go visit Amazon! I like to think ahead to the upcoming year and snag things to stash for anniversaries and other events!
With Cyber Monday right around the corner, I know that I will have more things to add--but I hope you can take advantage of these GREAT deals and steals! I'm all about saving you money when I can!! If I see more that you should check out I'll add them to the list!


November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

It is hard to believe that it is already Thanksgiving 2013. Every year seems to move more swiftly than the last. We have another year of trials, adventures, sorrows and joy. When you look back over the year since the last Thanksgiving, what do you see that you can be thankful for? Could you put together a Top 5 list?

I have much to be grateful and thankful for, but I have narrowed it down to a Top 5 list. I'm sure many of you will have these same items on YOUR list!

#5 I live in the country.

I never knew what a blessing this was until I moved to the Kentucky countryside the year I got married to Love-of-My-Life. In the rural area we live in, we are blessed with inexpensive utilities, conservative beliefs, and freedom to grow our own food; not to mention brilliant evening stars, fresh country air, little traffic and glorious evidence of God's handiwork in the creation all around. 

#4 I have a great network of support

Friends are amazing. Good friends are incredible! I am blessed beyond measure with excellent friends. I have friends of every shape and size and they keep me going. I've really been working on trying to stay in touch with my closest friends more than usual. I love my sisters of the heart and couldn't go through life without them.

"Friendship isn't a big thing--it's a million little things. ~Author Unknown

#3 I am grateful that I don't have room in my fridge and freezer.

I can't tell you how many times I have said, "Ugh, I can't find a spot for this in my fridge!" It's a simple saying and one we've all said on more than one occasion. Do you stop in that moment to THANK GOD for your full fridge? I have learned to do that this year. The majority in this world have never experienced that. Do you think about that? We are so incredibly blessed to live in a country where food is available every day. Where we have food CHOICES every day. I can walk to my fridge and KNOW that I will find something inside. I have a freezer so full we have to rearrange it regularly! That is an abundance!

#2 My family is alive, vibrant, healthy and happy!

With all the craziness in this world, all the sickness, the diseases...this is something to NEVER take for granted.  I have friends with special needs children--who have to fight every day to keep them alive and fed. Who never know if this might be the last year, week, day they have with them. We've had our share of sickness, but it was never life threatening. We had our share of worries about our boys, but they never lasted very long. My boys can drive me nuts, but I am thankful they can run and jump and play and yell and just be boys! My husband works away from home 3 days/2 nights a week but he comes home each week. He's alive and able to wrap his arms around me. I cherish my family and thank God daily for the privilege of being a part of their lives.

#1 God is STILL God.

This year has brought much discouragement to the heart of man.  We've witnessed horrible destruction from natural disasters. Incredible loss of life because of man's inhumanity to man. Governments toppling and rebels rising. Threats of global war ever increasing. Families being decimated by lies, pride and greed. Children being cast aside like rubbish.

BUT....through all of this chaos and darkness, I know that God is STILL God. He STILL cares about His children. He STILL desperately desires a relationship with us. He STILL honors the incredible sacrifice by His Son Christ Jesus that allows us the incredible blessing of salvation. And, He is STILL moving forward with His plan for the salvation of mankind.

I give thanks for Jeremiah 29:11 because of the promise it holds...

My hope for this coming year is that I will keep my eyes focused on that future and hope. That I will continue to draw close to God, to cherish my family, and to count my many blessings. I don't know what 2014 will bring, but I pray that I can still find many reasons to give thanks.

May you and your family have a most beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving!


November 26, 2013

Poppins Book Nook for November~ Pets/Animals

If you are here for the first time, let me give you a run down on what the Poppins Book Nook is all about. We are a group of Homeschooling Bloggers who work around a book theme each month. On the last Monday of the month we come together to share with you what books we read about that theme...and share any activities, field trips, crafts, etc that we might have done relating to that theme! Because our books are for ages PreK to 12th, visiting each blog in the blog hop lets you get a plethora of ideas for your children regardless of their age!

Last month's theme was all about the Seasons, but this month it's all about Pets/Animals!!

Do you have pets? We own cattle as part of our farm, but we don't consider them pets. We do have a great tomcat and recently acquired a rabbit. We are cat people. But only if they are useful. As in they live outside and keep our property free from stray mice, birds and other rodents. And we're fortunate to have a rockin' farmcat who takes his job very seriously. Even disappearing for up to a week on hunting excursions and bringing us back demonstrations of his trip. LOL!

(I could do without those on my front porch!)

But we love our cat. All of the cats we've had over the last 6 years have all been orange. We have a thing for orange barn cats. This last cat is Well we just call him "Cat" actually. No one remembers what his name ever was and he comes when we call him so I guess that's all that matters right?! LOL!
"Hello! I am cute! You love me! Feed me!"
 Anyways, he's a great cat. Very gentle with the boys. Has a loud purr and fluffy fur. We love him and he loves us. The boys love to sit on the porch with him on their laps...or play in the sandpile with him keeping them company.
He's my baby. I give him PLENTY of attention and he eats it up as you can see here. He adores ear scratches. And you can see he's making what we call "pancakes" on my leg. LOL!
The rabbit is a new adventure. We have a small hutch and Little Britches feeds her every day. I like to save parts of my produce to share with her. It's fascinating to watch her eat. And she's VERY soft!
She's even fluffier and fatter now that we've been giving her all sorts of produce treats!
She also comes right over to the edge of her hutch when she sees you coming because no one can help bringing her things--even just a handful of weeds from the yard!

The two books we read for this month relating to pets were:

The boys enjoyed this one. I would read them the statement for examination (eg. Dog's Noses are always Wet: True or False?) and then they would yell out their answer. Naturally Baby Britches just yelled out whatever his brother did--or just ignored us and started tell me about the animal in the picture. It was a great way to learn a handful of random facts about several different animals that are kept as pets. The answers were given on a separate page and included lots of data including an extra fun fact. 

(Did you know that mommy Hamsters if frightened will put their babies inside the pouches in their cheeks??!)

Our other book was a super fun and cute fiction story...
Frog, Where Are You? (by Mercer Mayer)

This book was chosen more for Baby Britches, though Little Britches enjoyed it too. We didn't even know Mercer Mayer had written it until I mentally noted that the illustrations were very familiar. There are NO words in this book making it a treat for the eyes. It follows the adventures of a boy, his dog and his new pet frog.

You can read my complete review on this book over at The Library Adventures!

We didn't do any further activities other than go outside and spend time with both the cat and rabbit which the boys always enjoy.

In general, we love books with animals prominently featured! In fact I think they are the first choice when hunting for new books to add to our stash from the library!

It's time for this month's giveaway! We have a beautiful book all about animals that I am sure your family will love to add to your collection! 

Simply use the widget below to get entered!

Why not check out what my fellow co-hosts have put together for you this month?

Do you have any blog posts about pets or activities with animals? Feel free to share them with us!


November 19, 2013

School Days: Pre-School (Part 1)

Hello, hello! Can you believe it's the second to the LAST week of November? That Thanksgiving here in the USA is next week? And that December is less than 2 weeks away? Me neither!! So much has been going on here on the farm, not to mention everything in our homeschooling! We are in week #9 in our curriculum, though we've been in school longer than that amount of time, so I thought it would be good to give you an update on some of the things that we are doing around here! 

Today I'm going to spend the time sharing some of what Baby Britches (age 3) is working on these days! I warn you though...this post is going to be photo heavy!!

We've been working on learning how to write letters...nothing formal though. Just practicing copying letters on worksheets with mommy's help.
Worksheet from a book I picked up ages ago
Identifying objects that start with specific letters...C is for cat, cookie, car and carrot!
Worksheet from same book as above
He does letter hunts using Confessions of a Homeschooler's printables
 He practices cutting (a favorite activity!)
Worksheet from the Zoomin' Moving Alphabet by Royal Baloo

He enjoys his beans activity too...
Found this great clear tray in a bin at Goodwill last year!
Later I gave him different colored beans and a spoon to enhance the activity.
I LOVE the $1 store cookie sheets for activities like this. I have two of them and when he sees me getting one out he gets excited because he knows it means he'll get to do something special for HIM.

He enjoys "playing" with our 3D Feel and Find World Icons Puzzles
He enjoys it most when we dump the bag and he can sort and match up the shapes to their disk like he's doing in this photo. I ask him to say the colors as he goes and he usually says the shape name too.

He also gets to have a smidge of computer time when Little Britches is working on something that needs my supervision. He EAGERLY waits for these moments...LOL!

He likes to play the Keyboarding Zoo game on
He sometimes can't find the letter on the keyboard so I have to give him hints...

He loves playing the ABC program on
He will literally play this game until my battery dies on my laptop...and has several times. He just works through the alphabet and then does his favorite letters over and over. He's excellent with the matching games (like this one) and is starting to make the connection between the items they show and the letter they are with. Last week I said "A is for apple..." and he said "And awagater [alligator]!" which is one of the animals under the letter A on this game.

If you are looking for FREE educational sites for your preschooler, I highly recommend both and

In the next post on School Days, I will share what a "normal" week with him looks like including the curriculum, books, workbooks, activities we are using.


November 16, 2013

The Homeschool Mother's Journal~ November 16th

Click to Join
• In my life this week…
I am going to be trying to get venison ground up! Last week was opening weekend of hunting season and my husband was blessed with a buck. Now we want to grind it up so that we can make our own sausage but also start substituting ground venison with ground beef. We like both so it’s not an issue here with taste. I am also working on some Thanksgiving cards for family to send out.

• In our homeschool this week…
We are moving from studying Ben Franklin to the next figures in the mid to late 1700’s George Washington followed by Paul Revere. Little Britches was thoroughly enthralled with Benjamin Franklin and is eager to learn about more of the men that shaped our country.

• Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
If you are studying a famous figure or event see if you can find an easy read-aloud book that matches the subject. We found one on Ben Franklin that really helped sink in what we were studying.

• Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
This close to Thanksgiving, we are going to stay near home this week. It’s time to start getting ready for Thanksgiving next week (how is THAT possible?!) and start planning my menu!

• My favorite thing this week was…
Seeing Little Britches face when I handed him some Rock Candy before telling him it was rock candy.

• My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
Discovering that I gave him Rock Candy and that it was full of chocolate.

• Things I’m working on…
Mailing out more “thinking of you” and “Get Well” cards to the shut-ins in my congregation. There is just something about snail mail that means so much more.

• I’m cooking…
Hmmm. I am thinking about trying some Eggnog Cupcakes for Love-of-My-Life. He just loves that stuff and loves cupcakes…so it might be a match made in heaven!

• I’m grateful for…
Having a refrigerator so full that there isn’t any more room. That is a blessing that most of the world will never experience.

• A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…


November 14, 2013

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch #117

Everyday Ruralty
Would you rather sit in front of a fireplace with a roaring fire, soak in a lovely bath, or spend free time on your computer?
Ohhhhh....that is tough. It's a toss up between the fireplace and about a soak in a lovely bath in a room with a fireplace with a roaring fire???? Can I have a glass of wine too? And bubbles? And a book?

Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
Milk chocolate if eating it straight...but I can handle dark chocolate in SMALL amounts if it's mixed with something or in a cookie.

Have you ever tried a recipe from a blog or Pinterest?
Absolutely! I have many recipes from those sources!

Do you have a guest room? If not, do you have a spare room that you use for something other than a bedroom (sewing room, office, craft area, etc)?
Not a guest room. But we do have a craft room/classroom/office that becomes the guest room with an inflatable mattress! We really need to expand on our house and make the 3rd bedroom an actual bedroom!

Is your hair curly, straight, or something in between?
Straight. Straight, thick and long. I actually just got my "hairs did"'s a pic for your viewing pleasure!
Would you believe she took almost 3" off my length? Told you I have long hair!

Thanks for popping in for this week's bit of randomness!

See you tomorrow!

November 11, 2013

Fresh from the Bookshelf: Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund (a review)

I have another book review to share with you. I will start right off telling you that the cover sold me on this book. I love excellent covers and will sometimes choose a book just because the cover drew me to it. And yes, it IS another Inspirational Historical'd you guess?! LOL! 
I promise that I have a different genre to share a review on very very soon!

Rebellious Heart is the 3rd book in the Hearts of Faith series by Jody Hedlund. I had already read book #1 in the series (The Preacher's Bride) and really enjoyed it thought I didn't realize that the same author wrote both books! 

Here is a little blurb about the book from the publisher's listing:
Because she's a woman, higher learning was always closed to Susanna Smith. But her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. And she's determined to marry well, so she'll be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Growing up with little to his name, poor country lawyer Benjamin Ross dreams of impacting the world for the better. When introduced to the Smiths he's taken by Susanna's intelligence and independent spirit, but her parents refuse to see him as a suitor for their daughter. 

When the life of a runaway indentured servant is threatened, Susanna is forced to choose between justice and mercy, and Ben becomes her unlikely adviser  But drawing closer to this man of principle and intellect lands her in a dangerous, secret world of rebellion and revolution against everything she once held dear.

With the setting in Massachusetts in 1763, it takes place in the years just prior to the Revolutionary War. The main characters represent two sides of the colonists: Susanna thinks to rebel against England is a sin and she plans on upholding the law no matter what; Benjamin sees that England is oppressing them and believes it is the duty of man to rise up against the tyrants. But life's experience challenge both of them to think differently when Susanna's ideals are challenged and she needs Ben's help to help her save a runaway indentured servant girl who needs her help. 

*As a side note, the author based the love story of Benjamin and Susanna on the infamous romantic couple John and Abigail Adams, even using some of their love letter references in the plot. This added a nice bit of extra to the story.*

The story deals with everything from England's increasing presence on the colonists, to the idea of inalienable rights for men, to the issues of indentured servants and slaves, to societies demands on marriage for both men and women.

It was an excellent story and very interesting. I enjoyed it very much--especially since in our homeschool right now we are in the 1700's and colonial America. It was very fitting to be reading a book for me that matched what we are getting ready to study.

It was very well done and very well documented and researched. I enjoyed the plot and felt the characters were well developed.

Want to check out more about this book?
Click here to read an excerpt
Click here to read Q&A from the author on the book

If you are ready to go snag a copy for yourself...
Click here to get the Print Version
Click here to get the Kindle Version

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Publishing Group as part of their book review bloggers program through Bethany House Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.