Back to school


We started school a few weeks ago but then got the horrible news that we had a death in the family. It was hard for us all to get motivated to start back up so I waited until yesterday to get back to school! 

So far we have done 6 tests in history and a quiz in reading. We began reading “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” yesterday and so far Olivia likes it. Yet yesterday she was complaining to me and couldn’t understand why she had to read it. For reading we are doing 7th grade level because she is so advanced in reading but we got a head start already. I will make it a point to go to the library once a week for her to get out new books. She will have them all read by the end of the week anyways so I am happy to allow her to go.

We had a great first day back and today we got started a little later than we planned to but it’s ok because she is getting things done! So here is to a great new school year and to learning so much! We haven’t really been anywhere for vacation this year and that ok with us. Maybe later this fall we will head to the condo and then we shall see what to do next. 

God Bless America Coloring Book Review

Ever since I was young, I have always loved art! When I first found out about the adult coloring books I was so excited! Here I was in my 30’s coloring out of a kids coloring book for years. Now I have my own coloring books to color in to help alleviate stress from homeschooling and more. This book that I received to review called, “God Bless America” is like no other and it has beautiful patriotic pictures to help me calm my stress down.

This book has so many pictures that even my daughter and her cousin loved to color in while we were at the Lake a few weeks ago. While it was storming out, we broke out the colored pencils and coloring books and this was one of the books that was fought over. I could not believe that they would fight over it but they did. This book has many pictures in it that even my mom commented on liking and wanted to join in the coloring feast! I can’t wait to get another one to take on my vacations when we go! Hopefully we will be going to the mountains to use our condo we have up there in October and this is something that I can’t wait to take up with me and enjoy the nice, crisp, cool mountain air!

I did receive this from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All my opinions are 100% my own!

Welcome to Monster High Movie

Does your kids like Monster High? Olivia loves the movies and she loves playing with the dolls! If your kids do like it here is a little information on a new movie debuting on August 27th!

WELCOME TO MONSTER HIGH™ to select cinemas nationwide on Saturday, August 27.
WELCOME TO MONSTER HIGH™ features Draculaura™, the daughter of Dracula, and her best ghoulfriend Frankie Stein™, daughter of Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster, in an epic adventure! Dreaming of a school where everyone is accepted, Draculaura™ and Frankie Stein™ set out on a journey to recruit new students and bring them to Monster High™, which celebrates uniqueness.
The full Monster High™ screening experience will include a behind-the-scenes look into the partnership between Monster High™ and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and an exciting “Dance the Fright Away” pre-show featuring a monsterfied dance tutorial by YouTube superstar choreographer Matt Steffanina. Monster High™ fans can visit FathomEvents.com to purchase tickets and find the nearest theater.

Life Happens…

This past month has come and gone and it’s hard to believe that starting tomorrow it will be August! I have thought long and hard about what my next post will be and I chose not to do it as a review. I have had a long hard trying month and we have gone on a mini vacation with my mom and niece. I have to say that while I appreciate the memories that we had at White Lake, NC; I think that this year may have been the last year we will go. When we were there we had some quite interesting things happen to us while being in the water so we decided that maybe we will go to the beach instead.

We arrived on a Saturday and while we were in the water…we happened to come across a snapping turtle that ended our swim for the day. Then the next day we decided to head into the lake at the campground and saw a dead fish here and there…and the more we were out in the lake the more dead fish we saw. That was the last time we tried to even swim. I didn’t feel like getting back in the water since it was full of dead fish. Nope not gonna happen! Then the next day we wanted to go in and it was storming most of the day and then stopped for a bit and while Keali tried to go swimming it ended quickly due to another nasty storm. Yep..we were done with the lake at that time. Olivia said that she wishes that the campground had a pool so she could go enjoy it so that means next year we will probably head to the beach instead with the girls. I’m down for that anyways because I love hanging out at the pool at Lakewood Campground in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Suprisingly we haven’t been to the actual beach this summer just yet. We have been dealing with lots of different doctor appointments and all that so just haven’t had time to go. Plus every other weekend Olivia goes to her dad’s so it’s messing with our schedule. Then we have already started school and it felt good to do so. I am looking forward to Jason coming home from the West Coast this coming week and getting to spend several days with him! I have missed him more than you will ever know. I am very glad he’s not in the military because I could not be that kind of wife!

 

We haven’t been on our family vacation this year and we are still trying to figure out where we want to go! Since I am unable to run the Half Marathon this year I decided that going to Disney in November was not going to happen. Plus I couldn’t find anything on my discount for while there. Then again we do have the week in the mountains that we can enjoy and that is still a big contender for our vacation…just with a little fun trips on the side. The condo is ours for the week in October so the decision needs to be made soon. Guess we will figure it out. As much as I’d love to go to Disney World this year maybe we will choose to go somewhere else instead. We shall see!

Life We never expected cover

The Life We Never Expected Book Review

Life We never expected cover

As a parent of a special needs child, I never expected that I would be raising one. I never expected that I would be raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD. I never thought that any of this would ever happen to me, but it did. I never thought that God ever could think that I could handle a child who had special needs, but He knew that I could! He knew that I could handle it from day 1 and that no matter what curveball was thrown my way, I would take it one day at a time! I was lucky enough to be chosen to review a book called “The Life We Never Expected” by Andrew & Rachel Wilson and that is what they too never expected either!

This book helped me realize that I’m not the only person out there that has a good day and bad day with my child who has ASD. I struggle on a daily basis to know if I am protecting her enough from the evil world out there and to make sure that she is safe from all harms way. There are things that she honestly will never get and never understand and that I will never get others to understand the way she things and responds to things, but to know there are other parents out there that go through this everyday helps me out. The Wilson’s really wrote this book about their children who both have special needs, and both were thrown curveballs while raising them. It’s not an easy task in taking them to different doctors and different specialists and getting teachers and even other parents to understand what you go through, but just to reflect on what they go through helps. This book has helped me in understand that I am not alone in this journey! I am not alone in this thing called Life and no matter how difficult it may seem with some of the things that Olivia may do, or doesn’t understand and may never understand. I just have to trust in God to know that He is right beside me and to know that He is holding my hand each step of the way on this journey!

Andrew and Rachel Wilson are the parents of three children. They attend King’s Church London, where Andrew serves as teaching pastor. Andrew has a MA from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from King’s College London. He is also the author of several books, including If God, Then What? and Incomparable.

You can purchase their book online here if you’d like! I loved this book so much that I plan on reading it again! So much to read and so good too!

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a sample of the product in exchange for this review & post. My opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.”

FlipaZoo Review

Do your kids love collecting something? Olivia loves to collect stuffed animals! She has been fascinated with collecting them since she was little and everywhere we travel to or if there is something new, she has to get a new one. Something that was sent to us recently to review was something that Olivia saw on one of the channels she watches and told me that she really wanted a FlipaZoo but I had no idea what they were. Until I received it in the mail, I was clueless…but Olivia was super excited once we received it in the mail! She took it out and got so excited when she saw which one she received!

 

She has yet to let it go out of her sight and it even came on the camping trip we just took which was funny too because it became a pillow for her too. FlipaZoo is a toy that has 2 sides for everyone to enjoy! It’s a toy that has two different animals in one and Olivia loved how we received the Hippo and Giraffe! She fell in love with it and decided to even keep the names that came with the toy instead of renaming them like she normally does! Yes my child still does that! What a big imagination she has still and I love that about her too! FlipaZoo is located in Walmart’s across the country right now and starting in August they will be available at the following retailers: Target, Toys”R”Us, Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart and more retailers! I love the fact that we have seen them in our local Walmart and Olivia has come to me and asked for the Unicorn one and another few ones which of course we told her to please hold off since Christmas will be here before you know it!

 

This would be a perfect gift for a child who has a birthday coming up, a student who may be going away to college to help remind them of home or for even Christmas! Even parents may want one or two of them! They are the perfect toy to take with you on car rides as they can be used for pillows too which is what Olivia does in the van and we have since put a small blanket in the back of the van as well to keep her warm in case she gets chilly! This no matter what the occasion may be, is the perfect gift for anyone of any age! The cost of the toy is $19.99 each which I feel is a perfect amount considering that we actually paid a lot more for some of her other stuffed animals! And for double the fun, if you order any FlipaZoo online off the official website, then they will send you a Free “Little Flipzee” for pocket sized fun! Check out their Facebook Page!

You’ll Flip for Them! They’ll Flip for You!

 

We received a FlipaZoo free in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All our opinions are 100% our own!

 

Patriotic Penmanship- Grade 6 (cursive) Review

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books Review}
We have been working hard on getting Olivia to learn cursive but she has been struggling and we felt that since this coming up year since she will be officially in 6th Grade we will continue to work on cursive with her. We will be working on another cursive program with her over the summer and then we will be doing Patriotic Penmanship-Grade 6 (cursive) written by Mary Ellen Tedrow and offered by Laurelwood Books. We have done one the first lesson just to see how she would like it and so that she can continue to practice when we begin to use the book in the fall!

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books Review}
I was very pleased when we first received the book in the mail because we received a nice little note along with the order. Also the book was so nicely printed up and was so nicely done inside. I love each lesson that is included in the book as it is not just one page long and it is actually two pages long. It has a quote at the very top, verse from a song or saying by someone. Then it goes into showing your child or children how to draw the letter in either print if that is what your child is working on or cursive. Olivia is working on cursive so that is what she will be working on this coming school year still. Then the child will write each part of the quote or whatever is written in cursive at the top. Each word actually several times on their own line. I like that very much as it pays very good attention to detail unlike several other handwriting or penmanship books we have tried in the past. Some only asked the child to work on the whole sentence at once and while that may be fine for some children but for a child who has sensory issues like Olivia, this book works just perfect for her! She is excited to do this book all year long! Then after doing each word separate, they will write the full quote together! That is perfect for her and is perfect for any child who is just like Olivia! I might even do this book along side with her just to practice on my handwriting skills some since it’s been years since I have done cursive on lines like the book has for years!!!

Another thing that I love about this book is when she is ready to move up to the next grade level we can. Patriotic Penmanship has books starting at Grade 1 and goes up to Grade 9-12. We would be using Grade 7-8 next year which would be Jr. High age group and would be cursive still. This is a good thing because if Olivia was still in Public School she would still not know how to even read cursive!!! They stopped teaching cursive the year that common core came out which happened to be the same year that Olivia started third grade. That’s horrible in my books! But since we decided to Homeschool it was the best decision we could have ever made! We are able to do whatever we want as far as her curriculum goes and we can travel if we chose to! But I’m off topic again…what’s new! So back to Patriotic Penmanship…This book is amazing and we love it so much! I have even suggested it to several of my other homeschool friends to check it out at the local homeschool store as I saw it there the other day while I was there shopping for 13.95 just the same price as they have it online for! You should check out their Facebook Page for some pretty cool things!

I did receive this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Laurelwood Books and as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

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Unashamed Book Review & Giveaway

unashamed book cover

Have you ever felt like you have been shamed by others by the way you look or the way you act? I have in past years and its not a good feeling either. It has affected me in the way I think, act and even eat at times and it’s heart breaking to tell you the truth. The one thing that I love about reading books is coming across the books that help me feel like I’m not alone in this game called life! I was very honored to be able to review the book, “Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame” by Heather Davis Nelson. This book has been a wonderful book to read especially after finding many people who look down on you if you are bigger than most.

Heather Davis Nelson has done a wonderful job in writing this book and it has helped me feel like I’m not alone in the game of Life! I read it as soon as I received the book because I am not taking any classes this summer and this has helped me be able to read books that I haven’t been able to in the past. This book is about how it offers hope to those who are struggling under the burden of shame. Many people shame others because maybe they are trying to get out of others thinking of what they believe or what they look like. It’s sad because even though they may be shaming one person, maybe they are doing this because they were shamed too. This book shines the life-giving light of the gospel on the things that leave us feeling worthless and rejected, directing our attention to the God who promises to forgive and restore us….No Matter What! I have fallen in love with this book and for any of my friends who would love to read this book just let me know and I’d be more than happy to share it with you! Or you can purchase the book here. But just in case you’d like your own copy there is good news because I am giving away another copy to a lucky reader! Just follow along below!

I was sent my copy of the book for free in exchange for an honest review from Flyby Promotions!!

New Van!


Well we did it! We finally broke down and bought a new van! I love it because I can fit a total of 8 people in the van comfortably and when I put Brayden’s car seat in the back I love how I can bring it up closer to me if I need to. Last night we had gone for a long ride and I moved him a little closer to me because he wasn’t feeling very good and he loved still being able to watch the movie that was playing. Even though he screamed all through the movie. I got him a movie for the van and so he didn’t have to watch what the girls wanted to watch anymore. They had to watch paw patrol and more. Haha

There will be no more screaming ofhe’s touching  me or I don’t want to sit next to him. Both girls will have to sit next to him or they will not go anywhere! We can’t wait to go to the zoo soon and on our daily trips this summer! We are very blessed to have this new van! 

LearnBop for Families Review

LearnBop for Families Review
Olivia has since finishing up with school has still enjoyed doing Math and some exercises to keep busy. The one thing that we love about homeschooling is that we can try out different programs that will help Olivia with something that she struggles with. One program that we have been very lucky to enjoy and review is called “LearnBop for Families” by LearnBop. Olivia has signed on a few times and has enjoyed learning and keeping up with her math.

LearnBop for Families Review
LearnBop for Families is a new Online Math Program that families can use for a single student or can be used for up to four children. I love how you can use it for just one child like our family but if we eventually adopt another child I like how we can go ahead and use it with more than one child. This is a wonderful program that we can use while on the road while we travel this summer. LearnBop is an amazing program that we have really enjoyed and we actually received a 12 month prepaid subscription to be able to review this program. The one that we have been working on is 5th grade math still since that is what we are still slowly working on. I am very proud of Olivia for making the struggle less of a hassle with learning math and she is really enjoying learning math.

LearnBop for Families Review
LearnBop for Families is a great program that Olivia has really enjoyed and we will continue to work on for the next year. The one thing that I love about this program is that I can check on Olivia’s progress without having to hover over her right now. I don’t like to hover over Olivia and I trust that she is learning on her own which is very nice! I like how it tells me how long she has been on LearnBop to learn, how many “Bops” she has completed, how many concepts she has mastered and more. I also love how Olivia has her own profile as well. This is so different from what we have done in the past because some of her other programs that we use she uses my profile. This is a difference for her and she said that she likes the freedom that I have given her and that I can trust her that she is learning on her own. In each grade there are about 13 roadmaps that she has to complete to be finished with the unit and I really like this because she is enjoying herself on how she learns.

LearnBop for Families Review
LearnBop is a unique online math program that we have been very lucky to review but even when our membership is over we will be renewing monthly for Olivia because it’s something that we believe has been helping Olivia overcome her fears for how she is with math. LearnBop for Families is good for children who are in grades 3-12th grade. It mimics a One-on-One learning experience for children who do better in learning with a 1-on-1 teacher. Olivia learns this one and is good for her learning experience. You should check out their Facebook Page and Twitter Account!

 

We did receive a 12 month prepaid Single Learner LearnBop for Families subscription to be able to review as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew! All my opinions are 100% my own!

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