Posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Deovtionals, family, Frontgate Blogger Reviews

Review and Giveaway for 52 Uncommon Family Adventures

81kqzUXEcUL

Book Description:

Connect with your family without breaking the bank.

When you dreamed of having a family you pictured outings, adventures, laughing around the kitchen table. But then the kids actually came and most of the time you’re too busy trying to keep up to figure out how to create a magical, screen-free environment where everyone feels loved, is having fun, and can connect. That’s why 52 Uncommon Family Adventures was written, it helps you do just that, without all the hassle and stress.

Whether it’s a family pillow fight, a lip-sync competition, or Toilet Paper Olympics, give your family the gift of lifelong memories while having fun, connecting spiritually, and speaking each other’s love languages. Enjoy all the benefits of the quality time you dreamed of without all the pressure of advanced planning.

Put down the phones, turn off the TV, and start making some memories together today.

Purchase Link:  Pick up your life-saving copy of fun at:  https://amzn.to/2SyNfgM

 

 

Randy Southern’s book 52 Uncommon Family Adventures presents a wealth of ideas for getting family away from their computer screens in order to have fun as a family.  This book gives creative ways to enjoy spending time together in ways that create memories.

Some of the ideas of the presented include a Volunteer Day, Mirror Games, Switching Rooms and more.  Each adventure includes a section with directions for getting ready along with directions for the actual adventure time as well as Family Devotions and the Love Language of the Day.

The directions for getting ready will allow families to be sure they have the necessary items to complete the given activity.  The variety of activities allows families to select something they can do regardless of the preparation time available.  I see this being the perfect thing to print out or write out the adventures and throw them into a jar and then let children select the adventure a few days in advance.  Doing this will allow the parents to secure any necessary items needed or make decisions about what location to use.   Adventures like a good old-fashioned pillow fight require no money and very little preparation.  On the other hand, doing the lip-sync video may require more preparation. For the “Something Borrowed” adventure, preparation is needed to allow times to borrow items from family or friends.

The Family Devotion Section includes a passage of Scripture to reference along with ideas of what to talk about regarding the passage.  One thing I really like about this section is how only the passage reference is given.  Families then are able to use whatever Bible translation they are familiar and comfortable with personally.

The Love Language of the Day provides a glimpse into what type of person with the given primary love language who will benefit from the activity. So for example, some people prefer words of affirmation to let them know they are loved.  Other people need to receive gifts in order to see they are loved.  Still, others need to spend quality time together in order to know they are loved.  So with a variety of activities in the book, families can pick and choose activities that address the variety of love languages.

Personally, I feel this is an excellent book for families who are looking for creative ways to spend time together in order to make lasting and meaningful memories.

But don’t just take my word for it, have a look yourself at just how easy,  FUN, and helpful this book is:  click here to see for yourself.

If you would like to enter a giveaway to have a chance of winning your own copy of 52 Uncommon Family Adventures, click here or on the graphic below.

52

0001-2494082893

Posted in 2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge, Blogging A to Z Challenge, Faith, family, Uncategorized

Blogging A to Z – “F” is for Faith, Friends, and Fun

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

Today is day 6 of the Blogging A to Z challenge – so the letter of the day is “F”.  “F’ is for Faith, Family, Friends, and Fun.  Faith plays a major role in our family’s lives.  Before our children were even born, they were prayed for, and after they were born, we dedicated them to God.  We have been blessed through the years to have faithful family members and friends who have walked along beside us.  Even with moving around thanks to the Army Reserves we have been able to stay in touch with our family and friends thanks to email, the Internet and Facebook.

Facebook and the Internet have also provided an amazing community of like-minded believers for me no matter where we move.  We have made incredible friends through our years in the military.  Even though miles may separate us, the memories and friendships are some that will last a lifetime.

Our family loves to have fun.  We enjoy going to places like Busch Gardens in Williamsburg as well as spending time with family and friends.

So what does the letter “F” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read all my posts in this series, click here.

Posted in #write28days, family, Homeschool Band, Homeschooling

#write28days – Day 19 Extracurricular Activities

Copy of 28 Days of

Today is day 19 of my #write28days series of Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources. Today I want to talk about Extracurricular Activities.  As a homeschooling parent, I wanted our children to have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities.  Through the years, those activities have changed and evolved over time.

405fbc7b-7c83-4c3d-b5c8-474a16eb09e6-5579-000001d23069d311_file

For example, when we began our homeschooling journey we participated in Cub Scouts, Church, a Homeschool Group and our children even had the opportunity to participate in a homeschool gymnastics class.  We specifically tried to pick things that all or most of the children could do together.

6f412299-df29-4e47-ad54-4004ea593309-5579-000001d2bbb8e717_file

Later when we moved to western Pennsylvania, our children were part of the Family Readiness Group for our Army Reserve Unit, Cub and Boy Scouts, Church functions and then our oldest son, youngest son and daughter attended a Christian dance studio.  The picture above is some of the photographs taken at the dance studio.

When we moved to central Pennsylvania, our children participated in Church activities, activities at the Salvation Army Corps we attended, Young Marines, and the Family Readiness Group for our Army Reserve Unit.  Here are some photographs from events.

 

Finally, when we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas, our activities changed.  We still had a church (although not as much) and finally last year we added our local Homeschool Band program and my husband, oldest son and our daughter also did the Homeschool Strings program.  This year we are still involved in the Homeschool Band and Strings program, and my oldest and youngest sons, my husband and myself have joined our local Community Band.  Oh, our youngest son also began participating in the Homeschool Tennis Class this year.

 

The one thing we have learned through the years is to be careful about how much you allow into the schedule.  At one point we were gone six nights out of the week and it was too much for us.  We have decided not to do co-ops or similar activities because we prefer controlling the materials and subjects our children learn.  While we want them to have the opportunity to be around and to interact with others, too much can be overwhelming and make it difficult to actually get homeschooling done.

So does your family participate in any Extracurricular Activities, why or why not?  I would love to hear from you.

#write28days

 

Posted in #write28days, family, Uncategorized

#write28days – Remember our children are only young once

Copy of 28 Days of

Today is day 10 of my #write28days series of Homeschooling Helps, Hints, and Resources.  Today I want to speak on a topic that is all too obvious in our home.  The fact is our children are only young once.  We only get to have them for a certain number of years before they grow up, move out and create lives of their own.  When we first began homeschooling our oldest was ten and our youngest was not quite four yet.  Now our oldest will turn twenty-three in June and our youngest is sixteen.

I have to wonder where the time has gone and how it has flown by.  I have some regrets about how we spent our time.  But in other ways, I have no regrets.  I regret in some ways that we took the path of active duty military.  Because this means our youngest two do not have as many tangible memories of my husband’s parent, their aunts, and uncles as well as their cousins.  But in other ways, I have no regrets we took this path because some of their experiences could never have been duplicated anywhere else.  For example, I think our children truly enjoyed our many visits to Busch Gardens where we stayed in the cabins at Fort Eustis.

img_0048

There is the time we drove from Pennsylvania to their grandparents’ home in eastern North Carolina along with three of their friends from central Pennsylvania.  The three girls saw the ocean for the very first time.

img_0709

Of course, now we are in Texas and my four children are all either playing a band instrument or a string instrument along with their father and myself.

img_1410

So my point is to enjoy your children and let your children enjoy growing up.  Do not get so caught up in looking to the future that you lose sight of the present.  Be present with them as well.  Take time to do things together as a family so you have memories for the future.  Because before you know it you go from there:

img_1349

to here:

img_0522

And there is no way to go back and recapture those moments ever again.  Enjoy your children today.  Love your children today.  Most importantly, remember God only gave us those children for a season where they truly need us.

#write28days

 

 

Posted in family, Foreign Languages, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Monday Musings for 1/21/2019

design-4

So over this past weekend, my husband has spent a large portion of his time rearranging our living room and trying to get things better organized.  With three days of our week devoted to music, this means we have a lot of instruments in our home.  We need a place to keep them as well as places to practice.  Since there are 6 of us who play instruments and four of us play more than one, there are quite a few instruments in our home.  So watch for me to be sharing how the living room looks once we get everything situated the way we want them to be.

img_1841

Also we are just really getting back into our homeschool routine, which means either my children or I want to change some things up.  For our sixteen-year-old daughter, we are going to be adding French, which we found on the Schoolhouseteachers.com website.  I love the ease I am able to find what I am looking for on this site.  If you want to read a review I wrote for Schoolhouseteachers back in January of 2017, click here.  This site provides everything a homeschooling family could need or want.  Be watching in the next few weeks because I will be sharing when the Home School Review Crew goes live with the reviews of this program for this year.

homeschool-review-crew-team-member

And speaking of the Home School Review Crew, I am pleased to say I will be participating on the Home School Review Crew again this year.  So be watching for upcoming reviews.

So what is going on in your world today?  I would love to hear from you.

Posted in Christmas, family, Fresh Produce, Holidays, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschool Band, Uncategorized

Monday Musings

design-4

So last week was a very busy week around our home.  We were preparing for our Band and Strings concert.  Our youngest son was supposed to have a tennis class.  Plus, my husband and I went on a partial weekend date to San Antonio – primarily so we could pick up a produce order from Bountiful Baskets on Saturday morning before we rushed home to play in the concerts.  Here are some pictures of our Bountiful Baskets produce.

But before I write more about the concert I have to talk about our date weekend.  This weekend we went someplace we had never been before – which is Wimberley, Texas.  This place amazed and astounded us.  Having moved to Texas from the mountains of Pennsylvania, the views and scenery around Wimberly took our breath away.  Even though it rained and was cloudy, we were still able to take a short walk to see the river/stream in Wimberley.  Here are some pictures.

 

The problem with all of our family members being in the band and strings groups is that it makes it difficult to take pictures.  Also, because I am one of the moms who helps coordinate things like the food for after the performances, it is even harder to get pictures of our whole family.  This time I failed completely at getting any pictures at all.  Here is one picture another mom took of us during the beginner strings performance.

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage and indoor

 

Image may contain: 3 people, people on stage

So now the Homeschool Band and Strings program are both on break until after the first of the year, but Nathan, Dennis (my husband) and I still have two performances this coming Saturday with the Community Band.  So be watching for updates next week about how that goes.  This Thursday we have a Christmas party for the tennis group as long as the weather cooperates.  Then Dennis, Nathan and I will be heading to Austin/Round Rock to go to Ikea and more.

If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are blogging about this week, click here or on the image below.

Posted in Bible, family, Sundays

Sanctified Sunday – November 4, 2018

Add heading

Our family tries to set apart Sundays as a day for our family. However, we have days like today where my husband has be at the Army Reserve Center for what we used to call drill weekends but are now called Battle Assemblies. Plus, we are moving into the realm of our children moving on with their own lives (i.e. our oldest son now has a job), so today he is at work. So the rest of us are left behind. Plus, our 12-passenger van needs some work done to it (which will happen on Wednesday – thankfully). So I do not really want to drive the distance to the church we are currently attending. It is not a very happy van right now. So instead my husband has the van and I am driving our truck to take our son to and from work.

img_0937-1

So for the rest of us, this means a somewhat quiet weekend, well as quiet as it can be when our youngest son is practicing the alto saxophone. This particular child seems to thrive on instruments that are not necessarily quiet, including the alto saxophone and the bass clarinet. Right now, the only quiet instrument he practices is the electric keyboard because he can plug in headphones while practicing.

So I am using my time this morning to do my Bible study, work on blogging, listen to podcasts and work through some courses I am currently enrolled in to help with blogging.

What do you choose to do on Sundays?  I would love to hear from you.

Posted in #Nathan, Birthdays, family, Music

Our Youngest Son’s Birthday

Untitled design

 

So today is my youngest son’s birthday.  Eighteen years ago today, he came into the world.   He was my one child whom I actually believed might enter this world with out any coaxing or intervention.  For a couple of weeks before he was born, I felt like he was on his way.  But that was not to be the case.


Instead on Friday, October 20, 2000, we went to the hospital to be induced.  We went in to the room.  My husband and his sister-in-law (his brother’s wife -aka my coach for all four children) and I settled in.  It was typical labor for me in that I spent most of it on my side because of my blood pressure.  At some point during the morning the nurse wanted to check how far along I was, so my husband stepped outside of the room.  To our surprise, he found two of his aunts there because the daughter of one of the aunt’s was in the room directly beside me.  Talk about interesting.  The nurses began taking bets on which one of us would deliver first (me on number 3 or her with her first).  He was my one child who made us nervous prior to delivery -well other than my first who did not seem interested in being born).  

img_0048


This son came into the world and brightened our world.  There was not too much he was afraid of.  He would be on the opposite side of a hotel swimming pool and jump in having absolute faith that his father or I would be there to catch him.  He is also the son that required our first trip to the ER for stitches. 

img_1354


He is best friends with his baby sister, well for the most part.  He is also our first child to fracture a bone, which was quite the adventure for me.  He is full of hugs and love.  He has a heart of gold. 

Right now he is learning to play the bass clarinet and the viola in addition to continuing his study of the alto saxophone and the piano.  He is quite musical and has intentions of pursuing it in the future.

img_1844


So happy 18th birthday to my wonderful son Nathan! If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are blogging about this week, click here or on the graphic below.

Keeping-Records-and-Giving-Grades-in-Your-Homeschool

 

 

 

Posted in Audio Dramas, Faith, family, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of Heirloom Audio’s St. Bartholomew’s Eve

St.-Bartholomews-Eve-Audio-Drama-by-Heirloom-Audio - Copy - Copy

Heirloom-Audio-Productions
I love adding Christian audio drama to our family’s listening time, and so I was thrilled to receive the 2-CD set of St. Bartholomew’s Eve from Heirloom Audio for our listening pleasure.  For many years, we have enjoyed spending time listening to audio dramas either on the radio or on CDs or from digital downloads.  Heirloom Audio Productions excels at creating family-friendly dramas based on the books by G.A. Henty.  These books capture the hearts and minds of our family.  The stories, actors/actresses and music provide an incredible combination for capturing your family’s imagination.

Heirloom Audio always does a remarkable job of producing engaging and entertaining audio dramas the whole family will enjoy listening to either at home or while traveling.  The dramas are primarily designed for children ages six to sixteen, but our entire family enjoys listening to this type of Christian audio drama. Our family personally prefers listening while traveling as it breaks up the monotony of any trips we take.  The two CDs provide over two hours of listening entertainment.

St. Bartholomew’s Eve opens with G.A. Henty meeting two young men who have slipped out of a church and plan to do some exploring.  The one boy wants to show his cousin some sights.  G.A. Henty reminds the boys about those individuals who died in the past so the boys could have the freedom to worship God.

The story then segues into the tale of an English boy and his French cousin in 1567.  The English lad has come to France to help support the Huguenots.  Because the Huguenots have ties to John Calvin, upon whose ideas the Primitive Baptist Church which is our church affiliation, our family felt a certain kinship to this story.  From the opening through the difficulties encountered by Francois and Philip to the death of one of the two, the story kept our interest the entire time.

Another portion of the story that really drew our family in was the discussion of the young child who Philip and Francois rescue.  They become concerned about whether a Catholic Frenchmen who comes to their aid can be trusted or not.  This led us to have a discussion about those individuals who provided assistance to the Jews during World War II.  We discussed how being of a particular faith does not necessarily make individuals untrustworthy or evil.  Many individuals during the time of the St. Bartholomew Massacre provided assistance to the Huguenots even though they were Catholics.

The St. Bartholomew’s Massacre took place during the reign of King Charles IX under the influence of his mother, Catherine de Medici.  The assassination of Huguenot Protestant leaders in Paris set off a massacre of tens of thousands of Huguenots all across France.  It seemed eerily similar to the deaths of the Jews during World War II.

In addition to St. Bartholomew’s Eve, our family has also had the privilege of reviewing, Wulf the Saxon, In the Reign of Terror, and Captain Bayley’s Heir.  You can check our reviews by clicking on the titles.

You can find Heirloom Audio on social media:  Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram at @HeirloomAudioOfficial.  You can also check out their “Live the Adventure Club.

So if your family enjoys radio drama, check out St. Bartholomew’s Eve from Heirloom Audio  for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

St-Bartholomews-Eve-Heirloom-Production-Homeschool-Reviews - Copy (2)

Home School Review Crew Disclaimer - Copy - Copy