Thursday, December 13, 2018

My Weekly Notebook: odds and ends

Life this week...

I was feeling on top of the world on Monday when I baked 2 kinds of cookies for an activity that I thought was happening on Tuesday. I even had my friend over to help (which was part of the assignment). Only I didn't realize I had the wrong week. That activity was scheduled for next week. It pays to double check the calendar! I really don't know why I had it in my head that it was this week. Sheesh! Good news is that I didn't show up at the church with all those cookies only to find no one there. Luckily, I realized that on Monday evening.

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Homeschool this week...

I am still really loving Superteacherworksheets. This was originally a review we did, but I ended up buying a new subscription when our free one from the review was up. I printed up these worksheets for the boys to do on our way to Summit this week. We go every Thursday, so I am trying to be more proactive in getting them things to work on during the drive.

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Aric did some graphing.
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Alex did a color by number with addition problems.
Reviews we are working on...

Technically right now we are on break from the review crew. It will start back up in January with a whole new year of reviews, and I do plan to continue, but this review of Practice Monkeys will carry over to the new year as well. This one is going a little longer so that we can really get a feel of how the program works. It takes time to learn an instrument. Also, to have the chance to do an assessment. Which we finally did this week. Alex moved from Level 1 to Level 2. It all worked so smoothly, and from the comfort of our own home!

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Places we're going and people we're seeing...

A sweet little baby girl's one-year old birthday party. I just love this wrapping paper, and the pretty pink bow.

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Something I accomplished...

I have been working on this puzzle since about the time we left for our Disney trip, so about a month and a half. I finally finished it this week! 

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Just for fun...

We played a game of SkipBo outside when it was mid 50's and somewhat sunny. It was a little bit chilly, but it was just nice to be outside.

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Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:

  1. My copy of Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock
  2. A sickness that had a short duration.
  3. For birthday celebrations young and old. 
I am needing to be more intentional about blogging and being thankful.
To be continued next Thursday...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Ice circle

We had a week of freezing overnight temps last week so my kiddos love to see what kind of ice chunks they can find outside. This guy scored!

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Zondervan: Devotions for Young Women (A REVIEW)

Zondervan

I had the opportunity to read and share Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan with my daughter. This book, filled with daily devotions, is especially written with the young woman in mind. It's for a girl who is trying to figure out her place in the world, and this book does a great job in tying modern womanhood into biblical stories about women and how they found their way.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

This book is beautiful on the front with a flowery hard cover. It's pretty thick with a devotion for each day of the year. The pages are thicker with a devotion on each side, and just one page long. There are just a few lines at the bottom of each devotion to record thoughts or answer any of the questions that might have been asked in the daily devotion. My daughter pointed out that she likes that it is labeled by day (such as day 118) so that you can start it at anytime of the year. There is also a ribbon bookmark attached. Such a nice elegant addition, and so convenient.

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My original plan with taking on this review was that I would read the book myself and give my thoughts as a mother of a daughter. I wasn't sure if my 17 year-old daughter would read it, but I showed it to her one day and asked her if she'd read it a little bit and give me some of her thoughts. To my surprise she said yes, and she even marked a few passages, and had some great thoughts. She said it definitely felt like it was written to girls her age (in their teens and early adulthood), and that she liked how it used women from the bible rather than someone's personal life stories like other devotionals can do. She also likes the layout, the bookmark, and the lines to write thoughts down. One things she said she wished it had was more scriptures that weren't necessarily about women, but that could be relevant to women, like some more inspirational scriptures. But, overall, she had a lot of great things to say about this book.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

For myself, I really enjoyed this book! Even though it is written for Young Women, I really found a lot of passages helpful and inspiring. I want to keep reading even for myself. I think if my daughter was open to it, I'd love to read it with her each day. Now that I know she was open to even reading it, I might pose that idea to her. This can be a great way for a mother and daughter to share some meaningful time together. But either way, together or separate, this is a very good faith building book for young girls to appreciate their place as a woman in this world, and see themselves through God's eyes.

Also, one last thought. The scriptures used in this book are from the NIV. While that is not the version of scriptures I prefer, I still found it to be a very great and relevant book with many great thoughts and stories about women from the scriptures.

If you'd like to see what others had to say about Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women you can click on the banner below.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}
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Friday, November 23, 2018

Disneyland Day 2

Day 2 at Disneyland was the very next day, Tuesday November 6. This was our magic morning (which means we got to go in 1 hour early before the park opened), so we were there by 8 am. We headed to the castle and Fantasyland first thing since those lines were pretty short, and we hadn't seen most of that area yet.

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First up, the teacups! Such a cute ride...

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Different smiles at different times

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Then the Alice in Wonderland ride...

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Next the carousel...

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We decided that we would spend a good portion of the afternoon in Cars Land this day so that we could catch a fast pass to the popular ride over there, and eat lunch at Flo's V8 cafe. All the pictures from Cars Land have their own post already, so I won't repost all of them here.

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After Cars Land we explored some more of the California Adventure park. We rode The Little Mermaid ride...

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 We spotted some Toy Soldiers...

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Alex finally got his Mickey ears. He decided he wanted that particular hat on Day 1, but we made him wait until we looked at all options, and finally took him to the store in the afternoon on Day 2.

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This was our special reserved dinner night at the PCH grill. We were supposed to have a Character meal, but we couldn't find reservations available for those, so we used our meal cards for a nice dinner. They had a special make your own pizza thing for kids...

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He loved making his own pizza. All the servers were just so nice, and the meal was delicious.

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After dinner we headed back to the park for the last few hours of Day 2. Night time is so fun. There are so many lights all over.

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The teacups at night are really cool, and April made sure to take me on those again so I could experience them at night. She was right, it is pretty neat.

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Alex rode on the Casey Jr. Circus Train.

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Finally it was time to start making our way out of the park to head back. We stayed until it was close to closing time. The lights on Main Street are so fun...

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Lots of fun stores...

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The tree wasn't fully lit yet. This night they just had the candles. You'll see on Day 3 (when I post it) the tree is lit up brighter. 

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That wraps up Day 2! I am slowly working my way through our trip, so up next will be our 3rd day at Disney. Then it'll be onto LEGOland for 2 days.You can read about Day 1 Here.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Disneyland Day 1 (and the drive down)

Lets start back at the beginning of our trip. Our drive down (not very many pictures) and day 1.

I have to admit I was not in the picture taking mood this trip. Especially the first day. It was just all so exciting and I just wanted to see everything 'not through a camera.' It's funny that that was the case because I was really thinking before we left that I'd love to get some live video action too. We ended up not even taking out the video camera at all.

We woke up bright and early Saturday morning (Nov. 3) to be out of the house by 6am because we had a planned stop at a place that would close before we got there if we didn't get out earlier. Our planned stop was a visit to the National Yo-Yo Museum in Chico, CA. We were looking to stop about halfway to stay for the night, and that looked like a fun/different thing to do.

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A very sleepy and excited boy (even though this face looks very concerned). We were all excited to get going to CA.

We made it out of the house about 6:45, I think, and we made it to Chico, CA sometime in the afternoon. We almost didn't find the museum because it's part of this amazing toy store, but we found it, and it was pretty cool. Cute little town too. What's ironic is that little did we know that Chico would be the place of refuge for many people fleeing the fire in just a few short days. So glad we hadn't plan to be there on the way back home. Unfortunately the Yo-Yo museum was part of my "I don't feel like taking pictures" mode so we have no proof that we were actually there. You'll have to take my word for it.


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Lunch at in-n-out before we left Oregon.

We arrived at our Disneyland hotel on Sunday afternoon. We stayed at the Clementine Inn and Suites. It was a nice place, and the room was so spacious. It even had a kitchen. We settled in on Sunday night to get ready for our first day at Disney on Monday morning. We planned to open the place up at 8 am, so we headed down to breakfast bright and early as soon as everyone was dressed and ready to go.

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Aric enjoying his cup of hot cocoa after breakfast. Excited and ready for the day at Disneyland.
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Our hotel included breakfast every morning so that's always nice to not have to worry about that expense, or taking time to go find something.

We finally made it to Disney! One of our first rides was the monorail. I took my camera out because I knew I would regret not getting any pictures of our first rides.

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The Monorail
Being at Disneyland was amazing and fun, but also exhausting and sometimes boring (waiting in all the lines). Our feet hurt everyday at the end of the day, but it was so worth it. We had some fun bonding happening all the time.

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Alex waiting in line for a ride. The beautiful sunshine too!
The Haunted Mansion was all decorated for Halloween/Christmas with The Nightmare Before Christmas theme. It was so neat. I'm not a big fan of spooky, but I thought this was really well done.

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We also rode the train around several times. This was one of the views. There were some decorations going up for Christmas. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the final grand opening of the Christmas celebration because it wasn't until Friday.

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Another line. This was for the Pirates of the Carribbean ride. We got lucky for this ride and caught it when it wasn't too busy yet.

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We headed over to California Adventure for the afternoon.

The sunset was already approaching on our first day at Disneyland. Shortly after this picture things kind of went downhill, and we didn't end up staying until it closed. Sickness sent us home early that night.

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Boys in front of the ferris wheel and the Incredicoaster at California Adventure park.

One more picture on our way out...

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That was the end of day 1. There's so much I didn't get pictures of. I think I took a lot more of day 2 and day 3. We did close the park on those days, and I don't think I could have possibly walked around Disney another day my feet hurt so much. We did try to get a lot in though.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Guitar 360 (A REVIEW)

Guitar 360 Method

As a music loving, instrument playing, homeschool family we love to find ways to incorporate music lessons of any type into our day. It's especially helpful when we don't even have to leave the house! This review is a program that allows us to do just that. With Guitar 360 Method we are able to have guitar lessons at our fingertips which allows us access anytime of the day, and move at any pace we need.

Guitar 360 Method

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We had never considered guitar lessons just because there aren't many guitar teachers local to us, but with the online world of classes becoming ever more popular so many different subjects can be possible now, including this guitar course. We received the Semester 1 Bundle with the Absolute Beginner bonus content and 13 weeks of lessons. With this online access we can login from any device or computer, and we can play the content of each lesson as many times as needed to get things down. It also marks each video complete as we make our way through them. Each lessons videos are broken up into several short videos so that concepts or details aren't hard to find if we need to go back and find something again (it's much easier to sort through a 2-5 minute video than a 30-60 minute one!)

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Who used this program in our home? I had originally planned on my boys (5th and 7th grade) using it, but also decided to give it a try myself. I've always wanted to learn an instrument, but never considered myself a guitar person, until now. This guitar instructor and program made me feel confident after watching my boys do it, that I myself could also do it. The way the instructor, Kris Simonfalvi, teaches and talks to the students through his videos gives complete confidence to the learner. I felt like I could do it!

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We all started with the absolute beginner course because we all have never had any kind of guitar instruction. This is a great place to start as he touches on even the very basics such as where to put the fingers on the strings. Krisz is very thorough in his instructions. He explains the what and why for everything, and if you aren't sure to just try it that way for a while. But, then he also tells you to find your own groove, and get comfortable with how you do things.

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None of us have gotten far or good enough in this time period to have a song down yet, but I feel like we will be there pretty soon. There are 2 bonus songs included with our bundle that are separate from the beginner course and the lessons that give direct instruction to popular songs. We didn't get to those, but it looks like it'll be a great way to get playing the guitar pretty quickly. Especially if you have the basics down already. We are still trying to get our fingers figured out, and keeping them in the right place.

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What did we think about Guitar 360 Method? We like it a lot. It's a great way to get into the guitar conveniently from home with a great instructor that makes you feel as if you can do anything even if you haven't before.

If you'd like to see what others had to say about this guitar program you can click on the image below that says Read the Crew Reviews.

Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}
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