22 May 2015

End of the Week Wrap-Up {Week 35}

Whoo hoo!!  We are down to just one week left in our '14-'15 school year!!  I.am.so.ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It has been so very hard these past few weeks to stay focused until the end of the year.  We are all ready for that summer break.  I have to say the kids have done a great job this week of hunkering down and just getting the job done though.  Proud of them!

Last week we had a friend in town for a couple of days so we took Monday off from book work and headed to the Land Between the Lakes to hang out for a while.  It's always fun there!  We walked around Hematite Lake and then visited The Homeplace for a while--where my son nearly wore out the ducks and chickens chasing them around:)  LBL is one of our fave recreation areas!

We are still in the middle of our human anatomy study for this year.  It's taken longer than I planned but that's okay.  We'll just pick back up in the fall.  We are currently studying all about the brain--so interesting!  The kiddos make "brain hats" this week which detail what is going on in each part of our heads.  You can find a link for this here.

Speaking of our school curriculum ...I think this is the year where I truly come to terms with the fact that it's okay to not finish every single lesson.  I have been streamlining and focusing on the most important stuff for the remainder of our year.  I probably should have done this sooner.  This is the end of our 7th year of homeschooling and I'm still learning things! ;)

You might remember me mentioning The Princess' book club last summer.  She and her friends have continued through the school year and have no plans to stop.  We love our book club!!  It's a wonderful group of girls and they have so much fun together--and us moms enjoy our time, too!  

Mostly the girls just meet and discuss their books, play some games, and just hang out, but occasionally they do a project together.  This month the host mom organized a painted canvas craft where they each had a canvas and they all chose some paints.  Then they had a timer set so that they rotated around the table to the next canvas every 2 minutes.  That way everyone painted on all of the canvases and they took home the one they ended with.  Lots of fun!  

Mr. B has patiently tagged along on a few book club outings and also stayed behind to hang out with dad for some as well.  I think I've found the perfect counterpart for him though--Homeschool Lego Club through Currclick.  He absolutely loves Legos and this virtual club "meets" each month (various days/times are offered) where a teacher leads with a lesson on that month's theme.  May was our first month to participate and he loved it!  This month's theme was the rain forest.  He had a blast with the build:

Our homeschool group's yearbooks came in this past week!  We'll be handing them out at our Field Day this coming Friday.  I am so excited about them this year!  The students did an amazing job of choosing the theme and executing it.  They chose a comic book look and one of our group's students actually did the cover art.  The superhero theme throughout the book was a lot of fun to do and turned out great!  This was my 3rd year as yearbook sponsor and by far the easiest!  The yearbook students really worked hard!

And that pretty much catches up to this week for homeschooling!  Have a great weekend!

P.S.  I'd love for you to pop over to this page to check out a giveaway of an amazing book that is happening here!  

18 May 2015

Unshakable {a review & GIVEAWAY!}

Today I am excited to share with you an amazing new book by my in-real-life friend, Nancy, at There Is Grace.  Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm releases this week and is a powerful read for anyone!  I was honored to be able to read this book before its release and I was incredibly moved by it.  

Unshakable chronicles Nancy's story of being diagnosed with the "C" word: cancer.  That is definitely a storm that many have been through and can relate to.  However, this book is not just for those weather a diagnosis of cancer, but for all of us.  We all have storms to weather through: the death of a loved one, a divorce, other illnesses, a family crisis, {you fill in the blank} ....this list could go on and on.  There is no one in this world untouched by storms of life.  

Nancy does a remarkable job of sharing her deep faith in God and in His Word.  In fact, she uses God's Word in powerful ways throughout this book, showing how important it is to know God's Word for ourselves, to "hide it in our hearts".  When those storms come God's Word is the absolute one thing that we can rely upon.  

In twelve short but power-packed chapters, Nancy outlines twelve ways that God helps our faith to be unshakable: through Him, His power, love, purpose, truth, strength, confidence, community, faith, connection, and, finally, victory.  Each chapter shares a little more of her personal story, while also relating the storms we face to stories of heroes in Scripture and how God moved in their lives.  

Each chapter ends with what may be my favorite part of her book--a section titled " Becoming Unshakable".  In this small section Nancy gives her readers a passage of Scripture to look up on their own to read.  Then she asks some important questions to the reader--tough questions that must be answered honestly if one truly wants to weather their storm and come out with stronger faith in the end.  Finally, she ends this section with a challenge to respond in prayer but also with a physical exercise (journaling, writing a letter, etc.).  These are really great, faith-building exercises!  

Nancy's writing style is lovely and conversational.  She writes in a way that truly speaks to your soul and gets to the heart of the matter.  I believe that Unshakable is going to minister to so many people and help build their faith!  

In fact, I want to give away a copy this week!  Just check out the Rafflecopter box below to get entered!

To purchase a copy right away, you can find all of those details here and here (you can also find a sample chapter there, too!).  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

08 May 2015

We {heart} Legos: Our Lego Kids Fest experience

So a few weeks ago we were able to take our family to a Lego Kids Fest in Nashville.  These are happening in various cities around the country and if you're able to go to one I highly recommend doing that!  It was SO MUCH FUN!! 

The tickets were for a four hour time slot and I have to say that I really didn't think we'd need to stay that long ...but we could have stayed longer!  There was an incredible amount of things to do and see.  I took, like, a thousand pictures ...which I have so graciously pared down to some faves here for you ;)

This event included activities like: the brick battle zone, a Lego pizza relay race, Lego car racing, Creation Nation, thebiggestLegobrickpileyou'veeverseen, the art gallery, and tons more.  There were special build areas for everybody's favorite lines: Star Wars, Bionicle, Lego Friends, Lego Disney, Mixels ....and a special family build area with a monochromatic theme (ours was purple).  

And then there are the oh-so-amazing Lego creations on display!  They were EVERYwhere!!  And they were the coolest!  One whole section is designated as a "model museum".  

One of my favorite parts was the Master Builders Lab where we got to meet a couple of real, authentic, Lego Master Builders (2 of 8 in the world!) ...and get this: they were a father and son team!  How fun is that?!  

My kiddos could not have had more fun!  They came home with fun freebie sets from quite a few of the activities and build areas, too.  Yes, our house is throwing up Legos these days.  But that's okay, there are worse hobbies, right?  Our family truly does love Legos!

So, yes, if a Lego Kids Fest is coming near you and you have any Lego lovers in your family ...you should totally go!!

Disclaimer: this post was not sponsored in any way or form by Lego (although how cool would that be?!) and I paid full price for our family's tickets to attend this event.  We simply love Legos and completely encourage Lego play in our household ;)

04 May 2015

What's For Dinner? {May 4th}

Why is it that even though I love meal planning and it makes my life SO much easier ...some weeks it's just hard to get it done?  I'm just not in the "mood"...ha

Oh, well.  We must still eat dinner, right?

And, thankfully, my mom invited us over for breakfast burritos tonight so I had a 1 day reprieve!  Yea!  And, boy, are those burritos good!!

So here's what's for dinner the rest of the week:

Tuesday:  {dinner in Nashville after the Lego Build}

Wednesday:  Meatball Subs

Thursday:  {crockpot} Mexican Chicken with Rice (the one meal I didn't get around to making last week)

Friday:  {freezer} Cheesy Stuffed Pasta Shells with Salad and Garlic Bread

Saturday:  Homemade Pizza

03 May 2015

End of the Week Wrap-Up {week 32}

We are quickly counting down the days till the end of our school year.  I.am.so.ready.  This mama needs a summer break.

Not that I don't have some "summer schoolin' " planned, but it's not the same as the rest of the year.  More on that soon!

We have had a busy past few weeks though and our school year is quickly winding down.  Besides our regular "book" work, here's some of what we've been up to lately.

We attended the Lego Kid Fest in Nashville.  I can't believe I haven't had a chance to sit down and tell you all about it yet!  I promise to do that this week and share TONS of pics.  This was an amazing event!  If this show is coming anywhere near you I highly recommend going!

We took a (very) short spring break trip to Myrtle Beach.  To be honest, it wasn't even close to one of our better trips.  The weather was cooler than we would have liked and ...Mr. B was not having a good travel week (travel isn't really his thing anyway).  We ended up coming home a day early.  I think our fave part of the trip was the day we drove back and stopped at 2 large bookstores...lol  

This past Friday we visited the Nashville Symphony with our homeschool group.  They were featuring chamber music and it was a great performance.  Their student programs really are enjoyable and educational.  We love them!

And that catches us up to this week!  

I plan for us to officially wrap our '14-'15 school year by May 29th.  So this month we'll be focused on our goal!  

How about you?  If you homeschool, do you plan to finish soon and take the summer off or do you school year round?

30 April 2015

Redo Your Room {a book review}

What a fun book for tween and teen girls!  I was excited to share Redo Your Room: 50 Bedroom DIYs You Can Do In a Weekend with my 12-yr-old daughter.  She is on a year-long quest to plan out a bedroom redo for her 13th birthday (did I mention that she likes to plan ahead?), so this is a great jump-start for her idea board!

Complied by the editors of Faithgirlz! and Girls' Life magazine, this book is chock-full of creative ways to personalize your space.  It begins with getting your room organized and gradually moves into style, walls and windows, closets, and everything in between.  (I'm hoping my sweet girl will spend a little extra time on the organizing chapter ;) ).  

After getting your space all clutter-free, organized, and furniture in the right spots the remainder of the book focuses on fun projects for each area of your bedroom.  My girl has quite a few pages bookmarked already!  

The projects featured in this book are generally inexpensive and most use supplies that you probably have around your house.  Well, at least if you're a craft junkie like me.  Some do require some sewing skills so that might be tricky if you're like me and missed the sewing gene.  Lucky for me I have a mom and sister who can help me out in this area.  Maybe you do, too :)  Most are super simple projects though that anyone could do!  

If you've got a daughter in the tween through college ages, this is a great idea book for her space!  You can find this book at Amazon or Christianbook.com for an inexpensive price.  So grab your copy and get started on some fun weekend projects right away :)  

Disclaimer: I was provided this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest 
and unbiased opinion.  No other compensation was received.  

27 April 2015

What's For Dinner {April 27th}

I'm back in the saddle again after a week off from cooking last week--we were out of town most of the week and on the go the rest!

My focus this week is getbackintoroutineandgetthishousecleaned!!!!!!

Thus the emphasis on slow cooking and grilling this week.  I'm minimizing my kitchen clean up!  It's all about prepping ahead of time and not thinking about dinner all day long.

Here's what's cooking at our house this week:

Monday:  {slow cooker} Spaghetti with Salad and Garlic Bread

Tuesday:  {grill} Sliders: Classic and Aloha styles with Chips and Baked Beans

Wednesday:  {slow cooker} Honey Garlic Chicken Sandwiches 

Thursday:  {slow cooker} Mexican Chicken with Rice

Friday:  {grill} Korean Chicken with {slow cooker} Baked Potatoes and Asian Salad

Saturday:  {dinner out in Nashville with friends}

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.