Field Trip to Cantigny First Division Museum

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We had a great day at our field trip last Friday.  It had been raining all week, and started raining on our way home. But the weather was so beautiful for the hours we were at Cantigny Tank Park and First Division Museum yesterday!

We have just completed our study of World War 1, so this was a perfect enrichment for the kids.  Cantigny has lovely gardens and grounds, but we spent most of the time playing on the tanks and taking a tour of the First Division Museum.  (If you visit the website, you’ll see more pictures of the exhibits in the museum.)  All of my kids loved the climbing on the tanks.  And most thought the coolest exhibit inside the museum was the trench re-creation.

We divided in 3 groups to go through the museum.  My older boys were in a large tour group of boys.  My oldest daughter was in a tour group of girls.  And I took my 5 youngest through myself.  One of the docents gave us a neat flip-chart of photos of items to look for as we walked through–a scavenger hunt.  This was highly fun for my 9-year-old and 7-year-old; they were constantly on the look out for the next picture.  There were a couple of movies, but because they were about war I skipped those with my younger group.  The older kids really enjoyed their tour guides (both older gentlemen.)

We have another great field trip to a museum in November, as well as a few musicals to see.

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Post linked to Inspire Me Mondays, Mom 2 Mom Monday, A Mama’s Story, Monday’s Musings, Living and Learning at Home Trivium Tuesdays, Hip Homeschool Hop, Laugh Learn Linkup

Review: 2 Adventure Bible “I Can Read” books

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It’s always fun to receive some new “I Can Read” books for the beginning readers in my home.  Here are two unique ones I’d like to review for you today: God’s Great Creation and Moses Leads the People.

The Bible Stories come from The Adventure Bible–a very popular Bible for kids.  These small paperback books are 32 pages long and are written for Level 2, which is described as “High-interest stories for developing readers”.  They are $3.99 each.

The illustrations are by David Miles and are very fun and colorful!  The last page of each book has a memory verse, description of Bible people to know, and “Words to Treasure” (an explanation about something described in the story).

God’s Great Creation is a retelling of the creation story–the six days of creation and what God created each day, his creation of Adam and Eve, and their disobedience and being sent out of the garden.  But at the end, we are told “God was planning how to help his people.”
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Moses Leads the People tells us about the wonderful man of God Moses who lead God’s people out of slavery in Egypt.  We see him talking to Pharoah, learn about the plagues, and see the Red Sea part and God saving His people.

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I’m so glad to have these books that my younger kids can read to themselves and learn about the Bible at the same time.

 

(Disclosure: I received these books complimentary in exchange for this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

Recipe: Angel Food Cake Frosting

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My mother-in-law has been making this Angel Food Cake Frosting for birthdays for years!  My daughter wanted it for her birthday this year, so I’m happy to share the recipe with you.

I just used a box mix to make the angel food cake.

Angel Food Cake Frosting:

2 cups sugar

2 egg whites

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

food coloring (optional)

Put about 2 inches of hot water in a saucepan and set heat to high.  Mix the first three ingredients in a double boiler over the saucepan.  Mix on low 1 minute, then on medium-high for about 10 minutes (until stiff peaks form).  My mother-in-law’s tip is to have a magazine sitting there so you can flip through it while you mix!  When the water boils, turn down the heat to low.  During the last minute add the vanilla and food coloring.  Immediately pour over the cake.  Depending on the humidity level, it may stay soft or it may get hard and crunchy.  Both ways taste great!

 

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Post linked to Inspire Me Mondays, Mom 2 Mom Monday, A Mama’s Story, Monday’s Musings, Hip Homeschool Hop, Laugh Learn Linkup http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2014/10/try-new-recipe-tuesday-october-21.html?m=1

Review/ Giveaway: Veggie Tales “Beauty and the Beet”

About the film:

This brand-new VeggieTales musical premieres Oct. 14 and stars Kellie Pickler (American Idol, Dancing With the Stars), who brings her unmistakable voice to the role of Mirabelle, a sweet-potato singer whose family band is on the brink of superstardom. BEAUTY AND THE BEET blends the irresistible charm of VeggieTales with a heartfelt message about unconditional love. The DVD also includes Mac and Cheese, a giddy new “Silly Songs With Larry” segment in which Larry the Cucumber reveals the surprising and heretofore untold history of his family’s unexpected contributions to Italian cuisine. BEAUTY AND THE BEET is just the start of the fun in store this fall for VeggieTales fans, because the gang will also star in a brand-new Netflix original series, VeggieTales In the House, which premieres Thanksgiving weekend!

Be Sure to Visit the Veggie Tales Official Website.
My Review:
We watched the DVD tonight with the family.  What a fun story!   It tells the story of a family of singers (3 brothers and 3 sisters) and their dad-the manager.  They are moving up in the concert world and are heading to their biggest gig yet when a snowstorm stops them right in front of a chalet.  They don’t have enough money to stay there, so they decide to work for their room.  The Beet is the owner and is a very grumpy, grouchy character.  Mirabelle (played by Kellie Pickler) decides to show love to him anyway.  In the end, everyone is transformed by her choice to show God’s love.
My husband said that the story reminds him of “White Christmas,” and I agree.  The music was fun, the songs uplifting, and the story helps kids to know that loving an unlovable person is what God wants us to do.  It’s what might bring them around!
Enter to win your own copy of Beauty and the Beet!  Enter through the Rafflecopter app below, 18+ only, US and Canada only.  Winner will be chosen on Friday October 24, 2014 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

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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 this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

This post also contains affiliate links.

Post linked to Inspire Me Mondays, Mom 2 Mom Monday, A Mama’s Story, Monday’s Musings, Living and Learning at Home Trivium Tuesdays, Hip Homeschool Hop, Laugh Learn Linkup

From House to Home {Link Party} #88

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

 

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Review of “Write for Life” Research Papers by Karen Lange

I’m happy to review Write for Life Volume One: Writing the Research Paper by Karen Lange.

Do you remember writing research papers when you were young?  I remember writing about Saturn, The Effect of Ethylene on Growing Bean Plants, Reasons Airplanes Crash, A Correlation Between Rock Music and Suicide Rates, and The History of the Piano.

Since my oldest kids are now in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades I know that it’s time to teach them to write a research paper.  But I was really hoping for a great guideline to lead them (and me) through the process.

I have found it with Write for Life: Volume One: Writing the Research Paper!  It’s a very easy-to-follow downloadable e-book curriculum that guides kids through the research writing process with 8 lessons in 52 pages.  It could take 8 weeks, or spread out the assignments (give them longer to complete them) and it could take a whole semester.  The price is only $.99!

Here is what you will find in Write for Life: Volume One: Writing the Research Paper:

Assignment Schedule:

  • Week One – Topic, several preliminary sources, and rough thesis statement
  • Week Two – Remainder of preliminary sources and revised thesis statement draft
  • Week Three – Working outline, any additional sources and revisions to thesis statement
  • Week Four – Pages one through three of rough draft, any additional revisions
  • Week Five – Finish rough draft, any additional sources
  • Week Six – First revisions of rough draft, rough draft of Works Cited Page
  • Week Seven – Additional revisions to rough draft and Works Cited Page
  • Week Eight – Final draft and Works Cited Page

Along with these assignments you have several pages to read through and study in order to learn how to do it.  For example, with Week One Karen gives lots of ideas of how to go about picking a topic for the research paper.  She gives examples of how to narrow the topic, so it’s not too hard to write about it.

I loved the various brainstorming ideas she gave.  I know kids could really have fun with those.

She also gives links to websites to get more information about writing.

You could certainly change things if you want to, but I like how the assignments and rubrics are so specific.  For example, she says to use a minimum of fives sources and that three of them need to be print books.

Also, at the end of each lesson is a “Just For Fun” activity such as finding out the true stories behind inventors of candies or cookies!

A rubric is included so the students know to check off the guidelines to make sure they aren’t missing anything in their writing.  This was very helpful for me, as the teacher.

Other subjects taught on are plagiarism, taking notes with note cards, writing an outline, and the bibliography/works cited page.

If you’d like to win a copy of this e-book, check out the giveaway here.

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The next book Karen Lange is working on is:

Write for Life Volume Two: Essay Writing

This book offers ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that guide students through the essay writing process. Suitable for homeschool families, co-ops, or other student groups, these eight lessons break down the steps from start to finish with helpful tips, instruction, practice, and encouragement.

Lesson topics include:

  • Essay basics and structure
  • Choosing topics and sources
  • Taking good notes
  • Thesis statements and outlines
  • Developing content
  • Revision and editing
  • MLA style source documentation
  • Preparing for the test essay

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Write for Life
in order to write this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Blog Tour (& Giveaway): “Write for Life” Learn how to write a Research Paper

Welcome to the Blog Tour for . . .

Write for Life: Volume One: Writing the Research Paper by Karen Lange

(Join me tomorrow where I will share my personal review of the e-book.  Keep reading on down below for a chance to win the book!)

This book offers ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that guide students through the process of writing the research paper. Suitable for homeschool families, co-ops, or other student groups, these eight lessons break down the process from start to finish with helpful instruction, encouragement, and practice.

Lesson topics include:

• MLA style research paper basics, topics, and sources
• Thesis statements
• Outlines
• Developing content
• Rough and final drafts
• Citing sources

No matter what we do in life, good communication skills are an important ingredient for success. Strengthening students’ writing enhances verbal and other interpersonal skills and helps prepare them for a lifetime of good communication.

Since 2005, Karen Lange has used these lessons to teach homeschool teens at the Homeschool Online Creative Writing Co-op. She believes that everyone can improve their writing skills with a good balance of instruction, encouragement, and practice.

Purchase Write for Life on Amazon

About the Author:

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Karen Lange is a homeschool veteran and consultant, freelance writer, editor, and online writing instructor for teens and adults. Her articles appear in parenting, homeschool, and other publications. Homeschool Co-ops 101, her first book, was released in 2013. She and her husband homeschooled their three children for grades K-12 in southern New Jersey. They now live in north central Kentucky where Karen enjoys reading, walking, and playing with her grandson. She is a fan of dark chocolate, hockey, and historical fiction.

Visit Karen:  Amazon Author Page

Blog

Email – karenelange@gmail.com

Facebook Author Page

Pinterest

Twitter – @KLELange

 

Giveaway Information:

One winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card & a copy of Write for Life ebook.

 

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Interview Questions:

What prompted you to write this book?

Thanks so much for inviting me to stop by! The lessons in Write for Life Volume One are ones I use with my teen homeschool students in an online writing co-op. I’ve long wanted to convert the lessons into book form for use at home or with student groups. These are lessons I wish I’d had when homeschooling my children. They break writing the research paper down into more manageable, less intimidating steps, offering tips, advice, and insight into the entire process.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

My hope is that readers, students in particular, will come away more confident in their research and writing skills. I believe that with practice and encouragement, every student can write. Certainly not everyone will become a bestselling author, but they can learn to express themselves better through writing. Improving communication skills helps students gain an edge for future pursuits. My philosophy is that everyone has something to share with others, and writing is one way to do that.

Who was Write for Life written for?

The book is designed for group, family, or individual student use. This includes homeschoolers and public and private school students. It can be used anytime to help students brush up on their research paper writing skills.
Write for Life includes an instructor guide with information and advice on how to help students through the process. While best used with parent or other adult supervision, self-motivated students can work through the lessons themselves. I’ve had a writer tell me recently that the lessons would also be suitable for anyone wanting to brush up on research skills.
Since Write for Life is more of an educational resource, how do you plan to market it?
That’s a good question! I am exploring different options as we speak. They include doing articles and guest posts, spots on Blogtalk Radio, and of course, social media. In addition, I may offer some workshops in the future. I will also do another blog tour when Volume Two, Essay Writing, is released.
You mentioned that there is a Volume Two of Write for Life. What will that include? When will it be released?
Write for Life Volume Two’s topic is Essay Writing. It will follow the same format, offering ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that will guide students through the essay writing process. The lesson topics include:

• Essay basics and structure
• Choosing topics and sources
• Taking good notes
• Thesis statements and outlines
• Developing content
• Revision and editing
• MLA style source documentation
• Preparing for the test essay

Three Tips to Use to Encourage Children to Write:
By Karen Lange
Teaching children to write can be intimidating, especially if you don’t feel like you are a good writer. Here are some tips you can use to encourage your children to write. Grade school, high school – age doesn’t matter; it’s never too late to develop good writing habits. A seventy-year-young gentleman I know took some writing courses and got published. You’re never too old to learn!

Tip #1 – Read to your children. Make family reading time a priority, if only once a week. It’s a great way to share quality time together. It provides opportunities for discussion. The benefits of exposure to literature are endless. It broadens perspectives and lends to a sense of adventure; this can enhance content when they write.

Tip #2 – Set a good example; let your children see you writing. Even if the only things you write are emails, letters, lesson plans, and grocery lists, you are still writing! It’s important to remember that no matter what we do in life, it is necessary to communicate.

Tip #3 – Find writing projects to do together. Writing activities in a standard curriculum are great, but sometimes they don’t spark a student’s creativity. When it comes to writing, especially for the reluctant writers, fun is the key. Engage children by finding short, interesting activities to start. Try writing a continuing story, silly poetry, or a family newspaper together. For ideas, I recommend If You’re Trying to Teach Kids to Write, You’ve Gotta Have This Book! by Marjorie Frank.

It’s worth a little time and effort now, for strengthening their writing will enhance verbal and other interpersonal skills, preparing children for a lifetime of good communication.

 

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of Write for Life in order to write an honest review for this Blog Tour.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Tapestry of Grace: Weeks 1-8 of Year 4

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We have had a wonderful time using Tapestry of Grace this year!  It’s really what I needed to help us with some structure and accountability.  I feel like our homeschool is going smoother than it has in years!  (Of course, I’m not pregnant or nursing–for the first time ever since I started homeschooling 13 years ago–so that probably makes a difference, too!)

We are studying the 20th Century and using our studies of humanities around that framework.  Here are some of the things the kids have done, read, and studied so far:

Literature:

My middle school boys have read and discussed with their Fellowship Group Call of the Wild, Stories of O. Henry, Anne of Green Gables, and Robert Frost Poetry.

I have read to the younger kids The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Beatrix Potter books, Raggedy Ann stories, Pollyanna (Porter), When We Were Very Young (A.A. Milne), and Peter Pan.

On her own my 6th grade daughter has read Five Children and It and The Girl of the Limberlost.

History:

We’ve studied about Theodore Roosevelt, the Wright brothers, Henry Ford, President Taft, Titanic, San Francisco Earthquake, President Wilson, World War 1, Flu Epidemic of 1917, prohibition, women get the vote, President Harding, FDR, and The Jazz Age.

The kids have done some fun and educational group activities at the Fellowship Group (based on their age): reenacting a Ford car assembly line:

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making a submarine out of clay (middle school), making a submarine out of water bottles (preschool):

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writing a radio commercial script, voting activity, timeline activities and games, and geography activities.  One of the activities my elementary kids most enjoyed was doing some of the spy activities from World War 1.  I just love the teachers and all they are doing to provide such wonderful learning experiences for my kids!

Here is my son with his World War 1 bag that he used when reenacting trench warfare (the black balloon is a grenade):

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I love how the kids are still studying history with “Living Books” as well as some that are more textbook-like.  The middle school kids have read Modern History in Pictures (Mills), Popular Culture 1900-1919 (Hunt), Bully for You Teddy Roosevelt (Fritz), Our Living Constitution (Aten), The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Schaefer), The World Wars (Dowswell), Unraveling Freedom (Bausom), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Freedman), Women’s Right to Vote (Landau), Temperance and Prohibition (Bauer), and Stalin (McCollum).

My elementary kids have read Welcome to Samantha’s World (1904), An Age of Extremes (Hakim), Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor (Freedman), The Story of the Wright Brothers and Their Sister, The Legend of the Teddy Bear (Murphy), Where Poppies Grow: A World War 1 Companion (Granfield), World War 1 (Adams), Louis Armstrong and the Jazz Age (Elish), War Peace and All That Jazz (Hakim), and  The 1920’s Decade in Photos (Corrigan).

Music Appreciation:

I’m am having a ball teaching the music history/appreciation class at our Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group! So far we have studied and listened to music from Debussy, Ravel, Opera (Puccini, Menotti, Gershwin), Ragtime (Joplin), Marches (Sousa), Stride Piano, Blues and Jazz (Armstrong and Ellington), and Mahler.  I also taught a short lesson on Hymns that were written in the beginning of the 20th Century:  “This is My Father’s World”, “Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee”, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, “Old Rugged Cross”, and “In the Garden”.  You can see an example of the Sousa/ Joplin lesson here.

I also teach a music and movement class for the nursery kids and the preschool kids. Here is the nursery class playing drums:

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Assembly Time:

The kids are also involved in the assembly time, where they will have the opportunity to get up and present something to the whole group (about 100 people) a few times during the year.  The preschoolers sang a song about a car and drove their assembly line cardboard cars around the room.  The middle school kids presented about O. Henry, a writer of short stories.  I also had several middle school kids help me with leading the hymns that I mentioned above. Here are my lower elementary kids saying the Pledge of Allegiance:

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(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

Linked to Mom 2 Mom Monday Linkup

Review of 3 New Veggie Tales Books

We have 3 great new Veggie Tales books in our home that I’d like to share with you today.

First is Yuletide Ice Cube Fair by Karen Poth.  The Veggie Tales characters are all getting ready for Christmas!  They ice skate and then hear the bell calling them over to the annual ice cube carving contest.  Everyone works hard creating their incredible carvings to display what Christmas means to them.  The finalists are a shopping mall, angels singing, the peas winning the prize, and a Christmas feast.  But the winner is Junior who carved a tiny stable with a little baby and a shepherd kneeling down.  That displayed what Christmas truly is about!  You’ll also find two Scriptures from Luke 2 in this paperback book of 20 pages.  The book is best for ages 4-8.

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The next two books are Level 1 “I Can Read” books.  These are always a hit in my home where I have beginning readers.  The titles are Sheerluck Holmes and The Case of the Missing Friend and The Mess Detectives and the Case of the Lost Temper, both by Karen Poth.

 

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In Sheerluck Holmes and The Case of the Missing Friend Sheer luck Holmes and Bobby Watson have to solve the mystery of what happened to their friend who disappeared from the pizza place. They find a note he left that said he was leaving because his feelings had been hurt. The ones who hurt his feelings confess, find Sniffy, and ask for forgiveness.

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In The Mess Detectives and the Case of the Lost Temper Bob and Larry and trying to solve the mystery of the Masked Door Slammer. But the story is really about bob who is really in a bad mood. He gets madder and madder as the sort goes on, and finally he loses his temper. Larry explains that Bob is being just like the Masked Door Slammer by losing his temper. Bob realizes that he is right and chooses not to “let his anger run wild” anymore.

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(Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of these books in order to write these honest reviews.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

 

5 Easy Ways to Add Music Appreciation to Your Homeschool!

5 Ways to Add Music Appreciation to Your Homeschool

Recently I shared this post over at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. Find five great ways to add music appreciation to your homeschool — the easy way!

(Linked to Mom 2 Mom Monday Linkup)

From House to Home {Link Party} #87

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

 

Follow on Bloglovin

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

 

 

 

 

Review/ Giveway: “It Will Be Okay” by Lysa TerKeurst

It Will Be Okay review

I’m happy to be reviewing a book from one of my favorite authors today: Lysa TerKeurst. But this time it’s for a children’s book!

It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox)
 
is a beautiful hardback book for
ages 4-8.  I absolutely adore the illustrations by Natalia Moore–so precious!

It Will Be Okay by Lysa TerKeurst

*Great purchase for parents or grandparents who want to encourage their children to deal with fear and change

*Children will learn that God has good plans for them

*Helps kids know that God will be with them through every stop as they grow

The book has a pretty page for filling in if giving as a gift.  The next page is a letter from Lysa to the parent about why she wrote the book.  She knew she needed to help her kids find a way to face their fears and trust in God, even when she isn’t around to remind them.  Next is a page with 10 Scriptures to Memorize with Your Kids.  There are some really great scriptures listed here.  I think my favorite is Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The story is 28 pages long and tells about a little seed who is safe in the Farmer’s shed.  A fox comes in and befriends him.  They are quite happy keeping each other company until the day the farmer plants the seed.  The seed is very fearful, but the Farmer reassures it that He can be trusted.  The fox finally finds the seed and also encourages it.  Then, as you can guess, in the spring the seed grows.  It eventually grows into a wonderful tree.  The fox and the seed/tree continue to encourage each other and to trust in the Farmer.

You can see the inside the book here:  Flipbook

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And now for the GIVEAWAY: 
If you would like to win a copy of It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox), please enter through the Rafflecopter app below.  The winner will be chosen on 10/14/14 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

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(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox) in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

Linked to Living and Learning at Home Trivium Tuesdays

Free 20th Century Music Appreciation Lesson: Sousa and Joplin

20th Century Music Appreciation free

Today I’d like to share something that I’ve been working on this year.  My kids are now involved in a Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group where they are studying 20th Century History and Literature.  I teach a 20th Century Music Appreciation class each week.  I use the following lesson plan format for all ages Kindergarten through 12th grade, with the elementary kids in one class and upper grades in another.  I teach more detail for the upper grades and add a coloring sheet (usually of an instrument that’s being featured) to the lower grades.  Another thing I do is have a blank form for the older kids to fill out while I’m teaching them, as well as a form for them to fill out while they are listening to the music.  I’ll be compiling all the lessons into an e-book to share at the end of the year.  But, until then I’ll be sharing some of the lessons with you!

Enjoy this lesson about Marches with John Philip Sousa and Ragtime with Scott Joplin!

(You can download the PDF versions of the Sousa and Joplin Music Appreciation Lesson, the 20th Century Music History Notebooking Page, and the 20th Century Music Listening Printable.)

John Philip Sousa/ Marches and Scott Joplin/ Ragtime, plus Stride Piano:
John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) led the U.S. Marine Band from 1880-1892. Then he formed his own band and toured the United States and Europe for the next 40 years. He wrote some operettas, waltzes, and 136 marches. A march is a form usually played by a band (such as marching band) that is typically in 2/4 time. Hear two of his most popular marches “Stars and Stripes Forever”

and
“The Washington Post”

In the 1890’s the march form helped lead to the ragtime piano style. Marches emphasize beat one; whereas rags syncopate the beat and emphasize beat two. The most popular years for ragtime was from 1900-1925, and the most popular composer was Scott Joplin.
Scott Joplin (1868-1917) started piano lessons as a boy but probably didn’t go to school until he was a teenager. He went to college at age 28 and published 50 compositions. He wrote some marches and then started writing ragtime piano music. When he published the “Maple Leaf Rag” in 1899, it became the first piece of sheet music to sell over 1 million copies.

Joplin said ragtime music shouldn’t be played fast. Here’s “The Pineapple Rag”

and

“The Entertainer”

Composers such as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin (who wrote “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”) were influenced by ragtime music.

A style that grew out of ragtime was called “stride piano.” It’s more improvisational than ragtime. The right hand still plays the melody, but the left hand has more leaps. Pianists would play popular songs of the day in the stride style. James P. Johnson (1891-1955) is known as the “Father of Stride.” A famous piece of the era was “Carolina Shout”

“Fats” Waller (1904-1943) was another popular stride performer and composer. He wrote the stride piano piece “Handful of Keys.”

An entire musical was written about Fats Waller using his music; it’s called Ain’t Misbehavin’, and here is “Handful of Keys” sung

© Gena Mayo ichoosejoy.org

Post linked to Inspire Me Mondays, Mom 2 Mom Monday, A Mama’s Story, Monday’s Musings, Living and Learning at Home Trivium Tuesdays, Hip Homeschool Hop, Laugh Learn Linkup

Artist and Composer Round-up

Review: Firmoo Prescription Glasses (+ Coupon Code!)

Review of Firmoo Glasses

A few weeks ago I took my contacts out as I was getting ready for bed and started to put on my glasses.  But they were nowhere to be found.  We searched everywhere.  Everyday I offered my kids a higher reward in case they found them!  Finally, I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to go get some new ones.  Can you tell I wasn’t thrilled with having to do that?  That morning I opened my email and found an offer to receive a new pair of prescription eyeglasses to review!  Woo-hoo!  Perfect!

So, here is my review of my brand new prescription glasses from Firmoo.

The hardest part was trying to choose the frames because they have so many choices!  But they make it easy for you by breaking them into different categories such as Men, Women, New Arrivals, Classic Series and By Shape (rectangle, oval, aviator, etc.), By Material (Metal, Plastic, Titanium,. etc.), By Frame (Full, Semi Rimless, Rimless), and By Size (Small, Medium, Large).

At first I just flipped through the variety of frames and chose a person (they give you several choices) that looked the most like me to “wear” the glasses so I could see how they looked.  Then, I decided to upload my own picture.  That was really easy to do on my computer.  (When I tried it with my iPad, the picture was upside down and I couldn’t figure out how to flip it.)  My kids and I had a lot of laughs seeing me in some really wild looking glasses!

I chose the pair you see below:   They retail for $46 plus standard shipping of $6.95.  (Single vision glasses.)

Science Firmoo NuNaturals 020

I like them.  They are extremely lightweight–they’re titanium.  I like the blue color and how they don’t have a frame all the way around.  It’s really fun to get a new pair of glasses since I haven’t gotten any since before I was married, 17 years ago!  Now that I know how easy it is to order, I expect to order again from Firmoo in the future when my prescription changes–or when my kids need glasses.

Free Glasses

Along with the glasses I also received a hard case, a soft pouch, a cleaning cloth, and a screwdriver with 2 extra screws and 2 extra nose pads.

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The ordering process was easy.  I just called my eye doctor to get my prescription, and it was simple to put all the info in for ordering.  The only downside is that it takes quite a while (I think it was 2 weeks) to receive them.

If you need (or want!) a new pair of glasses, use this code:

Coupon Code:  OCTF20

for 20% off storewide, 1.50 single vision lenses included! Expires on 2014-10-14

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(Disclosure:  I received a complimentary pair of glasses from Firmoo in exchange for this honest review. I am also an affiliate of Firmoo, and this post contains affiliate links.)

From House to Home {Link Party} #86

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

 

Follow on Bloglovin

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

Review of “Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids With Success While Loving the Little Ones at your Feet”

Preschoolers and Peace Review
Today I am happily reviewing Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet .  It’s an e-book in PDF format written by Kendra Fletcher from Preschoolers and Peace . This helpful resource is for any mom who is homeschooling an older child with a preschooler (or baby or toddler) and only costs $2.99! It’s an easy-to-read e-book and is 47 pages long.  It has a few pictures sprinkled throughout.

When I first started blogging 8 1/2 years ago one of the first bloggers I started connecting with was Kendra Fletcher.  I was drawn by the name of her blog: Preschoolers and Peace.  At the time I had 4 children ages 5 and under, with another baby soon to be born.  I knew we wanted to homeschool them, but I didn’t know how in the world I would actually be able to do it!  I looked to people like Kendra who were a few years ahead of me on the road and had some wisdom (actually, lots of wisdom!) to share.  Kendra ended up with 8 kids, just like me!  Her oldest 2 are now high school graduates and the youngest is 5.  My oldest is 13 and youngest is 2, so, I’m still looking her for wisdom!  And I have to tell you one more thing before I review the book.  I got to meet Kendra in person this year at the 2:1 Conference (a blogging conference for homeschooling moms).  She came all the way from California to Chicago.  It was a blessing to finally meet her and to hear her speak.  :)   And, she’s just as wonderful in person as online!

Here are the chapters that you will find included:

What a Homeschooling Mom Needs

Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Older Kids With Little Ones Underfoot

Planning Around Preschoolers

How Do I Keep Them Busy?

What Does a 2-Year-Old’s Day Look Like?

How Do I Get Any Preschooling Done?

How Not to Just Kill Time Circle Time: Or How We Pull the Little Ones In

Preschool Boys

When All of Your Kiddos Are Preschoolers

Preschool Chores

Planning for Preschool

When Mama is Worn Out (or Pregnant)

Meal Planning 101

What you’ll find in the Preschoolers and Peace book is some practical advice and heartfelt encouragement.  I loved reading about her struggles and how she had to change things along the way.  One of the best chapters was about different activities to do with (or give to) toddlers to keep them occupied when you need to concentrate your teaching on the older kids.  I’ve used a lot of those ideas, but she listed some I had never thought of!  I also loved how there are so many links to online articles to give additional information to the topic being discussed.  The e-book is short, but it would be way longer if she included all the linked-to articles in it!

In one chapter Kendra references Circle Time.  I learned about this years ago from Preschoolers and Peace and have done it in various ways ever since.  Basically, it’s simply getting all your kids together to teach them something as a group.  This year we do it as soon as I get my 2-year-old down for a nap.  It includes my 5 middle kids and we do memorization, Bible reading and study, science and history reading, and literature read-alouds.

I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like about the book.  It’s short and full of great information about homeschooling multiple ages from someone who knows what she’s talking about.  It’s well worth the money!

Preschoolers and Peace Review
Be sure to connect Preschoolers and Peace on Social Media!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PreschoolersandPeace
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KendraEFletcher
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kenj/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+KendraFletcher/posts
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/preschoolersandpeace

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Fabulous Fall $500 Cash Giveaway

FabulousFallCash

Welcome to the $500 Fabulous Fall Cash Giveaway!

I have joined forces with a fantastic group of bloggers to bring you this great giveaway. One lucky person will win $500 cash!

So, what is your most pressing need (or want right now)?  I have a want: I would be happy with some new clothes and shoes, maybe some boots!  It’s been a really long time since I’ve bought some new clothes, and with the fall weather finally upon us, I have some ideas! But, I can’t enter, so good luck!

 

Enter to win $500 cash via PayPal.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this $500 cash giveaway.

Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.

Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm ET on October 14th, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was coordinated by Giveaway Promote.
If you love entering giveaways, visit Giveaway Promote to find the greatest giveaways listed in one place.

Review of New NuNaturals Stevia Products: Giveaway, too!

NuNaturals Stevia

I’m so excited to share a review of some new NuNaturals healthy food products today!  And we have an awesome giveaway today–with FOUR WINNERS!!!

I received the following:

Nustevia White Stevia Powder (100 packets)

Science Firmoo NuNaturals 010

Nustevia Cocoa Syrup 16 oz.

Nustevia Cocoa Mint Syrup 16 oz.

Nustevia Simple Syrup 16 oz.

Science Firmoo NuNaturals 009

Nustevia Cherry 2 oz.

Nustevia Cherry Vanilla 2 oz.

Science Firmoo NuNaturals 012

Nugrain Oat Fiber 1 Lb

Science Firmoo NuNaturals 013

Nustevia Reb99 TM Extract 1 oz.

Nustevia Nocarbs Blend 2.75 oz.

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and the NuNaturals All-Star Worldwide Recipe Collection.

 

Wow–what an awesome set of products to try out!  If you are a sugar-free household, you must give these a try.  They will make you smile. :)

So, what is NuNaturals?  They make Stevia products which help us reduce sugar and carbs.  NuStevia is not bitter, has zero calories, and doesn’t raise blood sugar–which makes it perfect for dieters and those with diabetes.  It dissolves instantly in beverages, cold or hot!  They are gluten-free and contain no preservatives or anything artificial.  You’ll find NuStevia powders, liquids, and syrups, which can be used to make a wide variety of recipes!

 

My kids really enjoyed the Cocoa Syrup and Cocoa Mint Syrup–fun for chocolate milk or hot chocolate.  They were a bit too strong (the NuNaturals Stevia products are highly concentrated) to eat straight when poured on ice cream.  They also make a plain Simple Syrup.  One-quarter teaspoon of the syrup is as sweet as 1 teaspoon of sugar.  We made a healthy banana chocolate “ice cream” with banana, milk, and NuStevia Cocoa Syrup.  It was pretty good!

NuNaturals 002

One of my sons really liked the Nustevia Cherry and Cherry Vanilla in water and other drinks to give it a different flavor.  He even put it in his cereal!  (My favorite of the liquids was from my last review of NuNaturals when I got the Peppermint.  I love putting that in hot tea!)

The Nugrain Oat Fiber can be used for making baked goods or added to smoothies, porridge and other recipes where you want to boost the fiber content.  I’m always looking for ways to do that!

Here are some great recipe ideas to use the products:

*Banana Oatmeal Walnut Muffins using NuGrains Oat Fiber and NuNaturals Reb 99 Pure Stevia Extract.

*Cocoa Oat Fiber Pancakes using NuGrains Oat Fiber, NuStevia Simple Syrup, and NuStevia Cocoa Syrup.

*Apricot Avocado Scones using NuStevia Simple Syrup and NuStevia Vanilla Stevia Liquid

*Sugar-Free No Bake Chocolate Coconut Brownies using Nugrain Oat Fiber and NuStevia Vanilla Stevia Liquid

 

I would encourage you to check out the NuNaturals website to see all they have to offer!  Here are some wonderful discounts:

Use Coupon Code BLG1214  and receive a 15% DISCOUNT on your ENTIRE ORDER. This discount remains EFFECTIVE UNTIL  DECEMBER 31, 2014 .

Online ordering customers may also receive FREE SHIPPING to the CONTINENTAL U. S. on all orders exceeding $35.00 after discounts.

And now a giveaway!

FOUR winners will receive the following set:

One bottle of the Cherry Vanilla Stevia Liquid,  a 50 pkt box of our NuStevia White Stevia Powder packets, a bottle of the Nustevia Cocoa Mint Syrup, and a bottle of the Nustevia Cocoa Syrup with a retail value of $ 55.00, PLUS a free bonus product!

Giveaway runs until 10/8/14 and is open WORLDWIDE, no P.O. Boxes. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I received the above listed products for free in exchange for this honest review.)

 

From House to Home {Link Party} #85

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

 

Follow on Bloglovin

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

Family Time Fitness–Get your kids active!


Spend $1 to change your homeschool.

You may not think you need Physical Education – but I challenge you as a fellow homeschool mom to use the program for 2 weeks.

FEEL the difference – EXPERIENCE the change in your homeschool- WATCH your kids enjoy physical education – ENERGIZE your homeschool. 

Get access to their entire portfolio of products for ages 3-18+. 
$1 for the first two weeks, then $18 for then entire year long membership! If you don’t like it cancel before the two weeks is up! 

IT IS THAT SIMPLE! 


 Fitness 4 Homeschool Membership! Access to all PRODUCTS! Get years of physical education lessons, curriculum, workbooks, tests, boot camps, special programs, ebooks and more for one low membership price.

Special Price -$1 first 2 weeks! Try It. Then it is only $18 for the rest of the year! 

Click “Get Access Now” to
Secure This Price!

The programs and information included in the Ultimate Fitness 4 Homeschool Membership will enable you to become an expert in teaching physical education to your kids! Over the next 12 months you will get access to everything listed below. The Ultimate Fitness 4 Homeschool Membership is valued at over $1000 and still growing! 

  • Homeschool Physical Education Core 1 ( Age 5-10+)
    Introduction to Physical Education
    156 Lesson Plans
    30 FREE Bonus Lesson Plan
    Each Lesson has the following:
    Instructional Videos
    Warm ups
    Cool Downs
    Game Play and Activities
    Suggested Outdoor Activities
    Printable 1 Page Summaries

  • Homeschool Physical Education Core 2 ( Age 10-13+)
    Introduction to Physical Education
    156 Lesson Plans
    30 FREE Bonus Lesson Plan
    Each Lesson has the following:
    Instructional Videos
    Warm ups
    Cool Downs
    Game Play and Activities
    Suggested Outdoor Activities
    Printable 1 Page Summaries

  • Homeschool Pre-K- High School Workbooks and Tests – Over 750 Printables
    Pre-K – 65 Coloring Printable Fitness and Nutrition Pages
    K-1 Workbooks 4 Volumes (100 Printables and Answer Keys)
    2nd-3rd Workbooks 4 Volumes(200 Printables and Answer Keys)
    4th-5th Workbooks 4 Volumes (200 Printables and Answer Keys)
    High School Workbook (100 Printables and Answer Keys)
    5 High School Tests and Answer Keys 

  • High School Homeschool Programs
    Strength and Conditioning – 15 Week Program
    5k Running – 10 Week Program
    Basketball – 10 Week Program
    Online Health Class – Includes 12 Weeks of Instruction, Quizzes, and Tests

  • 55+ eBooks
    31 Sports Books including Bowling, Soccer, Basetball, Golf and more
    26 Recipe Books with thousands of recipes including Green Smoothies!

  • Co-Op Homeschool Program
    52 Week Program for Group Fitness
    License to charge for classes and teach a group

  • FREE Homeschool Programs
    Gross Motor Skills Training Program
    Winter Olympics Workout Program
    Agility Course Workouts

  • FREE Homeschool Extras
    Core 1 Certificate
    Core 2 Certificate
    High School Strength Certificate
    5k Running Certificate
    Basketball Certificate
    Sample Tracking Calendar
    Integrating PE for Special Need
    s Daily Food Diary
    Assessment Tracking
    Assessment Descriptions
    Supplies List
    K-1st Workbook Certificate
    2nd-3rd Workbook Certificate
    4th – 5th Workbook Certificate
    Agility Course Certificate

  • Exclusive Homeschool Content 
    Exclusive Articles
    Fitness Tips
    Webinars
    Videos

  • Homeschool Boot Camps 
    Family Boot Camp – 14 Weeks
    High School Boot Camp – 14 Weeks

  • And much, much more like Total Fitness Training coming in 2014!

 

 

Regular Price: $108.00 / Year

Special Price -$1 first 2 weeks! Try It. Then it is only $18 for the rest of the year! 

Click “Get Access Now” to
Secure This Price!

 

 

(Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Family Time Fitness, and this post contains affiliate links.)