Sunday, March 31, 2013

Current Reading March 30, 2013

The Long Voyage by Luke Rhinehart
Set in the 1980's this book is the story of a group of people that band together trying to survive a nuclear holocost.  I read many similar books when I was a teenager, so this brought back some "book memories" for me.  I thoroughly enjoyed the read; I got it as a free kindle download a few weeks ago and read it on my phone.
Interestingly, and not related to the book, I am able to read from my kindle app on my phone while walking on a treadmill.  Reading on my kindle makes me dizzy, but the smaller screen on my phone makes it difficult to lose my place, therefore making it easier to read :)  I'm going to pick a new book and put it on my phone this evening so it is ready and waiting for me.

Marmee and Louisa by Eve LaPlante
A great co-biography of Louisa May Alcott and her mother Abigail, written by a relative.  Many source documents are used so this seemed a very thorough review of Louisa and Abigail's lives.  Knowing more about the author of my all-time favorite books gives me some insight into some of the things that never really made sense to me.  A great book that I recommend to literature buffs.

The Sixth Station by Linda Stasi
New author for me (I'm so out of the reading loop that they are all new authors for me) but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be on the lookout for more from her.  This book is fiction, a story of the cloning of Jesus and the search a reporter takes to find the truth in what is going on around her.  I had a lot of trouble putting this book down :)

What have you been reading these last few weeks?????

Saturday, March 30, 2013

We Choose Virtues - Review and Discount Code

I've mentioned a few times lately that one of the things the littles and I have been working on is character.  I see, very plainly, the flaws in my character reflected back to me daily.

I feel that the prime character training time is when children are smaller, under 10 or so.  However, I have found it very difficult to find resources that work for children under 6 or so.  (For children above that age, Doorposts has GREAT resources).  As you've already read, Lorrie Flem has a great booklet with wonderful ideas to help a family study character.  Another resource that I have been blessed to receive lately is We Choose Virtues. 

I had the opportunity to listen to a conference call by Heather McMillan, creater of the We Choose Virtues products.  The catchphrases, cards and posters were created for use with her family first and then with classrooms and homeschoolers.  AND they are working on products for the older set (coming soon!). 

Every situation and family is different and Heather encouraged us to use these products in the way that they would work best for our family.  Some will cover different traits with different children.  Some will cover the traits as a family.

We are using the cards together; Me, Abby and Bear.  We've been working on obedience.  (Which is also Rule #1).  We went over the flashcards, discussed the related Bible references and colored the corresponding page.  I am trying to get in the habit of memory work, but it is still a struggle here.  We've spent about a month on Obedience and I think we will move on to Diligence in April.

Here are Bear and Abby with their mostly completed coloring pages.  This is the front cover.  I haven't gotten a snapshot of the Obedience page yet.

Heather is offering a 20% discount on her homeschool kit.  The code is HOME20 and has no expiration date.
She is also offering a 15% discount good on anything in the store.  The code for that is VIRTUE15 and also has no expiration date.  (Sorry, the coupons cannot be combined)

I feel blessed to be able to use these products with my younger children.  They are fun, but get the point across nicely.  Fun and educational....2 of my favorite things!

***I received this product for free in exchange for a fair review as part of the Mosaics Review team***

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Character: A Matter of the Heart

One of my goals for 2013 was to work on my character, and the character of my children.  In the past, I've used several resources for this, but at this point Bear and Abby aren't old enough for those.  I have been very blessed this month to be able to review 2 character improvement products that were to be used with younger children.  In fact, the book I am reviewing today is to be used with the whole family, all ages, including mom and dad!

Character: A Matter of the Heart by Lorrie Flem is a comprehensive book designed to give the family ideas on how to implement character training in MY family (or your family).  Designed to be used in the best ways possible for MY (YOUR) family, Lorrie gives many suggestions, ideas and encoruagement to guide you on this journey. 

Lorrie encourages mothers, to give Dad first place in this endeavor and to follow their lead.  Using her ideas, we are taking one character trait at a time - Obedience this month - and working through it as a family.  Lorrie reminds us that character is CAUGHT rather than TAUGHT - remember mom that our character shows through every day!

I'm thankful that this resource came when it did.  If you are looking for something that you can use with your whole family, then take a look HERE, this booklet is available for only $4.97

***I received this product for free, in exchange for a fair review as part of the Gabby Moms review program.***

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Recent Reading 3-9-13 Edition

I knocked two books off my reading list this week :)  Actually, one of them didn't even make it to the side-bar list.

Seed Starting: The First Step to Gardening was a review book for the Mosaics Reviews team.  I downloaded it on my kindle and read early this week while on the treadmill.  A GREAT read.  You can view my review of it HERE.

Then I finished the 3rd book in The End Series trilogy by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall, Brink of Chaos.  Like I said before, if you enjoyed the Left Behind series then you will like these.  Essentially they take a similar story line but it ends right after the Rapture.  So, it has a pre-Rapture story line.  I really got into the story of Joshua Jordan and his family.  I know that it is fiction but I hope that there are true patriots out there today that are doing all they can to stop the evil that this country seems to have become. 

So, I will be sure to update my sidebar and keep reading :)  Check back next week to see what's new.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

It's Spring! Let's Get Some Seed :)

Spring is almost here.  At least I hope so.

For us, spring means planting a veggie garden.  We have planted a garden for years.  We tried the Square Foot gardening method one year and I kinda liked how it worked out but my husband didn't so much so now we do the rows and such.  A typical garden.

I have a love of fancy tomatoes and rare peppers.  We live in po-dunk nowhere so we just get basic garden plants here.  I have tried for several years to start my own seedlings.  Some years it worked out ok, some years it was a complete failure.


This is the most fabulous little book that covers ALL the bases of starting your own seeds at home.  I got an in-depth education in potting soil, pots and lighting.  I learned all kinds of interesting information about how to get those little seedlings out of those pots and into the garden safely.  I am thoroughly impressed with how much information this book covers and how concisely it does it.  I wish that I had this book so many years ago, but I am very eager to try his advice out this spring.

This book is available on Amazon for the Kindle for $2.99

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Recent Reading

I've been reading more. 

I love to read.  Anything.  Newspaper, magazines, books, cereal boxes.  When I was a kid we rarely went to the library and the school library would only let me check out 2 books at a time, once a week.  I can easily read 200 + pages a day and I had an hour ride on the bus each way 5 days a week.  Those 2 books would be done quickly.  I would be so desperate for something to read that I would read my dad's hunting, motorcycle and stock car racing magazines, cover to cover.  If I ever got ahold of any money it was always spent on books or magazines.  I would read and reread the poor things till the covers fell off.  lol

Anyway, I digress.  We have a free library card now that we live in town and I make it a point to go up there at least once a week.  I would avoid the adult section because, honestly, I didn't have time to read and if I did, my kindle is full of books just waiting for me.  One day I was weak and made it home with 2 books.  I finished those and brought home another.  I can't help myself.  lol  I hope by only bring one home that I can read some of the stuff around here until the next trip (Tuesday, we go on Tuesdays). 

It took 3 weeks but I finished the 1st 2 books: (both fiction)
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier  **  A great book set before the Civil War.  It revolves around the life of a Quaker woman after she comes to America from England. 

Weapon of Choice by Patricia Gussin ** This is one of those medical/biological terrorism books that I love so much.  It is actually 2 mysteries intertwined together.  Another excellent read.

So what did I bring home this week?  Well, it was very hard to choose.  I only look on the NEW shelf so that limits me a little, otherwise I would never get out of the library.  There were 2 mysteries that tempted me and a nonfiction book about 1775 but the one I left with is a dual biography about Louisa May Alcott and her mother Abigail :)  I can't wait to start it.  I have a book going upstairs right now but I'm going to try and finish it tonight or tomorrow and then this one is up next.  I'll be sure to share about it as soon as I get finished. 

Please, share what you've been reading!  I love to hear all about I'm off to write reviews on Amazon.  Have a great day!

Friday, March 01, 2013


This week has had some firsts for me:

1st time I ever went to a yoga class.  It was GREAT fun.

1st time I ever had my eyebrows waxed (more to that later)

When I was a sweet little girl I had beautiful blonde hair.  The older I got the darker my hair got.  As a 35 year old mother of 4, it was more light brown than blonde.  On a generous day, my husband would call it dirty, dishwater blonde.  Hmmm.

I've been working on this whole lifestyle change lately.  Low, low carb diet, exercising a whole lot....I've been wearing makeup and trying to do my best to be around for another 35 years.  BUT I also realize that every day might be my last (not that I'm dying, but honestly, it could be) and I deserve to feel pretty. 

The other day I decided that I was going to try to dye my hair.  I say TRY because I've done this before.  First I tried to lighten my hair, but that didn't work.  Then maybe 7 years ago, I tried to dye it red (because I have some natural red highlights).  Didn't work.  I had decided that my hair won't hold color.  Now, I'm working on a NEW me so I decided to try a little darker.  The shade I choose was called light golden brown.  My wonderful husband was willing to be my colorist so yesterday we got down to business.

You can see the BEFORE up in my profile pic.

Here is the after:

It is darker than I thought it would be and RED :)  I love it.
Please ignore the kitchen mess.
I dyed my eyebrows to match my hair and now that they were darker they were very bushy.  So a friend at the local salon waxed them for me.  Cute, eh?