Saturday, July 22, 2017

Welcome to Our 6th Grade Year!

Wow! Can't believe we are about to embark on our first year of middle school! Time sure does fly when we're having a blast! Right? Here we go! Welcome to 6th grade!!

So I wanted to take some time and share our curriculum choices for our upcoming year. We are going to do a soft start on Monday so we can ease our way back into school. This is the first year, ever since we started homeschooling, that Boo Bear has received a true summer break. Usually we work right on through the year but this time with theater camp, we changed that up.

He played the best Magic Mirror I've ever seen. (not bias here at all)

We had some adventures too. We visited a museum with Mimi and Papa, went to see several movies on the big screen and have hung out with friends.

Even tried out the new trampoline park close by with a Ninja Warrior course and everything.

But alas, school must return. So, here's a look at what we'll be doing for our 6th grade year.

Science, Language Arts, and... Batman!
Science this year is again an Apologia course. We've worked with this curriculum since we started so we're sticking with it. With Papa and Mimi being close this year, it will surely be a fun experience! We are working on General Science. He is in 6th grade and that's supposed to be for 8th grade but we feel he's ready for the challenge. We'll see!!! It's going to be a lot more work than he's used to so prayers for both of us are appreciated!

Language arts is a mixture of workbooks we've used before. We'll be working more on cursive handwriting again, spelling and reading comprehension. Also going to work on a Geography skills workbook and writing workbook to help his handwriting and language arts learning. He needs to boost his confidence in his spelling and writing. He also got his Mama's issue of not having a neat handwriting so those are all skills we're going to tackle. 

And of course, you can't have school without some fun, right? Hence the Batmobile pencil box so that the Dark Knight can have his supplies ready at the helm!

I am so excited about history this year! I love American History and always have. So, this year we're going to be working on Notgrass America the Beautiful! We are both super excited to use this amazing looking curriculum. I've heard nothing but awesome things about it so we are ready to dive in! 

We are sticking with Math Mammoth and moving along with this curriculum. I love the ease of use, that everything is all in one place including teaching manuals. I am excited to move forward and see where this year goes!

Our School Room
We also have a different set up this year. I have to admit. I can't stand things looking cluttered.  (in most scenarios) My desk and Boo Bear's desk is two of those areas I want neat and tidy. I feel like it is more conducive to working if it is all organized and ready to be tackled. So here's a few shots of our new set up. 

Darth Vader makes journal writing more fun!

So, I went to Dollar Tree ( love that place!) and got some red and blue bins for his books and school items. Each bin is labeled as to what is in it and has all the supplies in each bin for that subject. So for example, Math has the protractor, ruler, compass, and calculator he will need throughout the year. Science has his notebook and all required textbooks, etc. Hopefully this will make it easier for us to work through this year and keep everything where it should be. I also have a bin for Science Experiments that has all the items needed for experiments through each module.

So that's a look at where we are so far :). I look forward to sharing our adventures this year and hope you stop by to see where God takes us. I want to enjoy this journey as all too soon it'll be over and he'll be off to college and getting married, and... Sigh....

Happy weekend to you and yours and we'll see you around!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Learning to be Content

When you think of Philippians Chapter 4, what is the first verse that comes to mind? For me, and probably most of you, 4:13 is the one that most people out there know. They know it by heart. It states:
Photo Credit
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength".

Another version states:
" I can do all this through him who gives me strength".

In a lot of instances, we use this verse to help us get through a tough situation, a troubling event we're facing, or for me, getting me through something I'm extremely nervous about. (for example speaking in front of others).

However, have you ever taken time to read the verses right above this passage? I know I really hadn't paid attention to them until recently. My Pastor gave a sermon a while back on them and then they popped up again recently in my bible reading.

This is what they say:

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength"

What do you think of when you hear the word "content"? What does it mean to you?

It's defined as:
"in a state of peaceful happiness, a state of satisfaction, satisfied with a certain level of achievement, good fortune, etc., and not wishing for more" (Credit)

Photo credit
So, let's think about that. Paul was writing this after suffering beatings and imprisonment for his belief in Christ and sharing the Gospel. While writing this letter to the Philippians, he was in prison facing a future that was not certain. He was sharing that he's learned to be content with all things because of the strength of God that flows through him and lives in him. He had learned to see opportunities to share the Gospel everywhere he was, even in prison.

This kind of contentment comes from knowing that God's got this all under control. The fact that He knows what your situation is, He cares for what you're going through, and He's got a plan in place to get you through it. Sometimes it's very hard to see that. Sometimes it's difficult to face the day, the week, the month ahead and know that you're not sure where this is going. There are things that come our way that we wonder, why in the world is this happening? What is this trying to teach me? God wants us to rely on Him and understand that the Joy of the Lord, the contentment in all situations, comes through His strength.

We can't do this on our own. We're human and we face struggles everyday to be happy in a place where happiness may be hard to find. Being content doesn't necessarily mean you're jumping for joy. Being content means you are satisfied knowing that God has this situation under control. You can be content and joyful without jumping for joy. It doesn't always mean smiles and excited laughter. Contentment means you're resting in the peace that passes all understanding. You know that God's got this and you know He's going to take care of that situation.

We may never know this side of heaven why things happen. We may never know the reach our experiences have to others. But we can know this. We can be content in the fact that Christ is our strength, our refuge, our shelter in times of trouble. He's our hope, our future, and our everything.

I personally am still working on this. I'm still working to be fully content in knowing that God's got it all under control. I sometimes try to take things into my own hands and that doesn't work out so well. God's still working on me and I pray that I can learn this full contentment through good times and bad times.

What does contentment mean to you?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Uncommon Goods Review- Just in Time for Father's Day

Recently I received a set of four guitar glasses from the good folks over at Uncommon Goods. The company provides a wide range of unique gifts for the men in your family and there's so much to choose to from!

With Father's Day right around the corner, it's a great time to check out the gifts they have for the dad's in your life.

A little about the company
The company was founded in 1999 over in Brooklyn, New York and it is a privately owned retail store. They pride themselves on featuring a variety of jewelry, d├ęcor, and gifts that are unique and handmade, all while protecting the environment, people, and animals around them.

They work and sponsor a variety of non-profit organizations such as American Forests, Reach out & Read, and International Rescue Committee.

They've also been awarded for outstanding customer service every year since 2007 and they even reached the BizRate Platinum Circle of Excellence in 2015.

They were great to work with and very quick in responding to my questions. I was super excited to work with such an outstanding company.

The Product
I chose the set of four guitar glasses for the review. I was allowed to search through a long list of products available. While all of them looked amazing, these are the ones I felt would be awesome.

Each glass features a different guitar in a different color. Each glass is 16 oz and made of a very thick, sturdy glass. They are easy to clean up as you can put them in the top rack of the dishwasher. One of the best parts is the glasses are made and screen-printed right in the U.S.A. 

The guitar on each glass is a symbol of the era of music it represents. They are called "Juke Box Heroes" and they are great for the  music lover in your life. They are quite sturdy and a great addition to any collection you may have, or the beginning of one.

We love using these glasses and they are a fun way to strike up a conversation with guests. The glasses sell for $35 for the set of four and make a great Father's day gift, birthday gift, or anytime gift.

Check out Uncommon Goods for a variety of  gifts for the men in your life. From watches and glasses to things around the office, there's something for everyone in this retail store. Check them out today and tell me what your favorite gift you find is in the comments below! 

**This was a sponsored review. I received the glasses in return for my honest opinions**

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

That Same Power...

Okay so I'm going to be raw, open, and honest here. Sometimes I grumble and complain. Mainly to myself and in my prayers. I ask God why things aren't going the way I think they should or what am I doing wrong. Sometimes I just grumble and mumble to myself wondering why I do some of the things I do or what's the point in them at times.

If we're all honest, we all have a tendency to do this. Right? Don't leave me hanging here. Tell me I'm not the only one who wonders what I'm doing wrong or if I made God mad. I know I can't be.

You know how you're kind of wondering if you're on the right path, if you're really called to do what you're doing or if you're just kind of stepping out of the path and something just isn't going right? And then God comes up and reminds you gently (or He sometimes has to smack you in the face with it) that there is something you can change. Something you can do differently. Yeah, this past week has been one of those times.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I've been totally frustrated or having a bad week. That's not it at all. There's just this nagging in my mind that makes me sometimes question what I'm doing and if God's really got the right gal, ya know?

Soooooo... onto that whole gentle nudging, reminder, Gibb's slap on the back of the head thing... Sometimes someone around us will share something and it hits home. We think oh, that's really awesome and wow! How did I miss that? Then we go about our week.

Then that same thing comes up again, kind of like God saying, " I don't think you got that the first time, dear".

That happened this week. Our worship leader shared a passage of scripture in Ephesians and talked about how the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. Of course, that got the new Jeremy Camp song stuck in my head because it says the same thing and it's awesome. I went on about my week.

Then comes Sunday. Pastor was preaching on believing and guess what passage he used as well? You guessed it. Same passage. Same message. That same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives in us.

Let that soak in. When you have the holy spirit living inside of you, that's the same power that caused Jesus to come up out of the grave. Not only just to come out of the grave but to take the keys to death, hell and the grave. It wasn't just a nap people!

Now, think about what other powerful things God has done. Parted the red sea, moved mountains, freed the children of Israel, Lazarus? Came up out of the grave. Calmed the raging seas with just words. Spoke life into existence. That same power? It lives in us.

So now contemplate this aspect. What if we prayed like we really believed that? What power would our prayers have if we honestly, wholeheartedly prayed believing that what we prayed for was going to happen? That people would be healed. That those things we are fighting against were already won with His power. Now I'm not saying go off and pray to win the lotto, because come on. Let's be real here. Not that that couldn't happen but.... (hahahaha)

It just really hit home with me this week. I'm kind of like a child throwing a temper tantrum at times saying, "But God, this and this and this has gone on so what is the deal?". When instead I should be praying believing in that power that and believing that the prayers that are prayed have power. And another thing? How about I pray about the situation instead of grumbling to Him about it? Have I really prayed enough about it? That's another thing that He kind of, gently, had to remind me of. Instead of me saying where is such and such, why not pray for it instead?

How would we pray differently if we kept that thought in our minds? How do you think things would change if Christians started raising up and remembering that power instead of feeling defeated and beat down? This world wants to take that from you. It wants to tell you that you're not good enough, smart enough, that you can't do enough. Don't believe it. Trust that God loves you and has you in the palm of His hand.

So, maybe that's just for me. Maybe it's just me that He's trying to get that message to stop grumbling and start praying with that power that lives inside. Hopefully it's not just me :-).

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wrap-Up for Several Weeks

Things have been wild and crazy here at the Farmwood Academy. (yes, our homeschool has a name) We have been quite busy with a variety of things going on and some have been fun while others, not so much. Here's a look at some of the things we've been into these past few weeks.

Air Show Fun
A couple weeks ago we went to visit my brother and got to see the Thunderbirds in their air show. It was a lovely visit and a great time, although it was short.

We were able to see a ton of neat airplanes including C-30's, some old WW II planes and a wonderful show reenacting Pearl Harbor.

We've been moving right along with our school stuff. We are hoping to finish up by the end of May since Boo Bear has two weeks of theater camp in June and that will take us down for several days. I have always just tried working around the theater camp but this year our goal is to be done. Then maybe start our new school year back in July.

Since the school year is coming to a close, it also means that I'm looking for curriculum for next year. I can't believe my kiddo is about to be a middle schooler. Where does the time go?? I have our math for the next couple of years chosen but we are going to be changing up science this year for sure. I'm also looking for a good interesting history program as well, so if you have any ideas please share them.

Fun Times
We've been doing some fun things here lately as the weather, and time, permits. We got to do our favorite springtime activity of picking blueberries. An added bonus was Mimi and Papa got to go this year with us.

We also went bowling with Daddy, colored and hunted eggs, and had a beautiful Easter with Grandpa.

Trim Mama
So if you've read any of the other posts on here, you know I'm using Trim Healthy Mama. I have a couple of health issues that make it very difficult for weight to come off so it seems impossible sometimes. I have been very frustrated lately because my scale is a big meanie head. It is stuck in a certain spot and it refused to move.

When that happens, I tend to get very downhearted. I eat very well, I mean tasty food. But when you work hard and it doesn't seem to make the scale move, it gets hard to fight through. BUT I have to say that I had an NSV (non-scale victory) this weekend that just made it all worth it. Yes, I have things such as my A1C coming down and feeling better, but we all know we want the scale to show it too. So, my resolution is I'm dropping the scale. It's nothing but a discourager and I don't need that sabotage in my life. :) Anybody with me??

Here's what I'm going to use. I'm going to use photos like this as my inspiration and encouragement.

So, are you trying to make healthy changes in life and have been discouraged? I encourage you to drop the scale and use your NSV's.

So that's what's going on around here. Just keeping on keeping on basically. I hope you had a great week and make sure you stop by Kris's place and see how other homeschool weeks went.

Have a great weekend ahead and see you around!!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Giveaway Alert!!!! The New Smurf's Movie is Coming! (Sponsored Post)

So here in our house we love going to the movies. It's a special treat for the whole family to enjoy. We love grabbing some popcorn and heading into the theater to enjoy the excitement of our favorite characters on the big screen.

One new movie we are looking forward to coming out on April 7th is the new Smurfs The Lost Village Movie!

I remember watching these guys as a kid and it's one that my son has grown to love as well. We have watched the other two Smurfs movies that have come out and are super excited to see this one in theaters soon! I've always enjoyed these little blue guys, and gal, and have fond memories of them outsmarting Gargamel every time. Now my kiddo has fallen in love with them as well and has been begging me to take him to see the new movie. Have you seen the trailer yet? If not, take a look below at the official trailer for the new film debuting on the big screen near you April 7th:

There's also a great family-friendly website for all the Smurfs lovers to check out as well. You can go there by clicking here and find lots of fun items such as:
  • Coloring and activity pages for your kiddos
  • Content that you can download
  • A family discussion guide for after you watch the movie
  • And so much more!
You can print out coloring pages for you and your little ones to work on before heading off to the theaters. You can also meet the characters of the upcoming film, check out the Smurfs social media pages, and get updates for all your favorite blue adventures.

And now for the best news yet!! Sony Pictures is offering 2 free tickets to one of my readers! Is that you? Be sure to enter the contest below to see if you win! (The tickets are 2 Fandago codes to get your tickets to see the Smurfs movie).

So check out the entry opportunities below and share this post with others who you think it might benefit. Best of luck to you and thanks for stopping by!!!

**This post was sponsored by Lev3L Marketing and Sony Pictures. I was given free tickets to give away to my readers and for my family. Thanks for reading, sharing and entering. **

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Introducing My Best Friend!

I have to share something with you today. I want to introduce to a best friend of mine. We've been together for quite sometime now and I think a proper introduction is needed. Introducing... my Crock-Pot.

Yes, the my Crock-Pot is one of my closest friends when it comes to cooking in my kitchen. Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE to cook. I enjoy finding new recipes and experimenting, I mean offering/trying them out, on my family.

Let's face it. We all have busy, crazy days where we just want dinner to welcome us when we get home. We just want to walk in at dinner time and everything be ready to place on the table, eat, and clean up. That's it.

It doesn't always happen that way but when I use my good ol' buddy, it does. I can simply grab the ingredients I need, toss them in, and go! Dinners ready in a few hours and no worries on my part. Unless I forget to turn the pot on and then... well... it's not a pretty way to end the day.

So, grab your coffee, or tea, and go with me on the journey of why I love my Crock-Pot.

A dependable tool
With the exception of forgetting to plug it in or turn it on, this pot is the most dependable tool I have for cooking a delicious meal on time. It takes the hassle out of standing at the stove, waiting for things to happen. This can be doing the work for me when I'm doing other things around the house like working at my job, cleaning the kitchen itself, or homeschooling my kiddo.

A forgiving tool
Although I try my hardest, sometimes I mess up things and they don't always taste the greatest. The Crock-Pot itself is a very forgiving way to cook a meal. It is welcoming to all your ingredients and cooks them thoroughly for you so there's no hard feelings ;-)

A time saver
Goodness me, I can't tell you how much this has saved me over the years. I've had a variety of Crock-Pots in our married life together and each one has been a huge time saver for me. When I have an especially busy day it's there, cooking dinner for me, so I can offer a delicious healthy meal to my family at the end of the day.

A money saver
Yep! You read that right. It has saved us money in a variety of ways. I can throw dinner in the pot before leaving for the and it stops the, can we just get dinner out, mentality. There's no need to run for take-out when dinner is waiting at home. It helps us to eat healthier too as I know exactly what went into that pot. Sometimes the restaurant meals you're playing guess that ingredient. Not with the CP!

Always Ready When We Are
Another great benefit to these amazing pots is that when we need dinner to be ready, it is. Sometimes we never know what time dinner will be due to work schedules, extracurricular activities, etc. This way we know that dinner can be ready whenever we need it to be. I love the warming feature as well since it's able to just keep it warm if we have to eat at different times from each other.

No this is not a review. No I'm not getting paid to say any of this. (course if Crock-Pot wants to pay me I'll GLADLY write a different review :) LOL)

I just want to encourage you whether you're single, newly married, have a bunch of kids or no kids, your Crock-Pot is your best friend. There's a ton of different amazing recipes out there to fill your pot with love and deliciousness.

Right now I've got chili going for our dinner tonight since the temperatures have dropped here. I'd love to hear what your favorite go-to CP meal is. I'd also love to hear why you love your crock-pot!  Share them in the comments below and happy crocking!!!