Review/ Giveaway “The Identical” DVD

The Identical movie giveaway

I’m so thrilled to give a review on a family movie today–along with a giveaway!  The movie is “The Identical” and stars actors such as Ashley Judd, Seth Green, Joe Pantoliano, Blake Rayne, and Ray Liotta.

When the movie first arrived, I wasn’t sure if my family would enjoy it or not, so I decided to watch it on a Thursday night, rather than on our typical weekend movie night.

I popped it in the DVD player, and it wasn’t long before the whole family was sitting around!  I also planned on stopping it after 45 minutes and finishing it the next day, but we were so drawn into the story, we watched it all right then.

The story really gripped at me. Poverty and the Great Depression leads a couple to give up one of their twin babies to an infertile couple.  Oh, the tears flowed!  The boys grew up apart, and both had great musical talent.  I don’t want to give away the story.  But it is heart-wrenching as well as heart-warming.

I loved the history portrayed as we travel from the 1930s to the 1970s.  I loved the music.  I loved the marriage relationships.  I loved the focus on God.

Even my husband and oldest son gave it a thumbs-up, and they are strong critics of movies which could be thought of as “B” movies!

Rated PG, approx. 107 minutes.

Visit The Identical official website.

Watch The Identical trailer here:

Check out this special offer from Family Christian —>
Purchasing the DVD from this link comes with The Identity Series DVD.

The Identical official Facebook

The Identical official Twitter

Yay–a giveaway!  Enter on the Rafflecopter app to win a copy of “The Identical” DVD.  The giveaway will end Sunday January 18!

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. US and Canada only.

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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 and this post contains affiliate links.

T-Tapp Giveaway: Prize Pack (Book, 4 DVDs, 2 CDs)

T-Tapp Prize Pack (book and DVDs)

I am so excited to offer this awesome T-Tapp giveaway today!  It’s a T-Tapp Prize pack including the book Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes by Teresa Tapp, 4 DVDs, and 2 CDs.   T-Tapp is an exercise program, and it’s the only one I enjoy doing!  I have been doing various T-Tapp workouts for about 4 years (off and on), and am back to being consistent with it.

What I love about T-Tapp is that it is such a focused type of exercising that “less is more.”  You are not just exercising one muscle at a time, but at least 5 muscles at a time with every exercise–so you get more benefit in less time.  I won’t lie to you– it’s not easy!  The Basic Workout is 15 minutes of hard work.  But I can do it for 15 minutes!

Here is what you get in the Prize Pack:

  • The book Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes by Teresa Tapp (explains everything about the T-Tapp technique and why it works so well, gives detailed instructions for the Basic Workout and the Total Workout, and explains the God Made/Man Made way of eating).  The book also includes the coupon in the back to get 30% off your next order at T-Tapp and is signed by Teresa Tapp!
  • The DVD Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes, which comes in the book.  It has 3 special exercises on it such as Hoedowns (to balance blood sugar in 3 minutes) and Organs in Place/ Half Frogs (to get a flatter stomach).
  • The DVD Yes You Can With T-Tapp Instructional Seminar (Teresa gives a live seminar; there are exercises included on it.)
  • CRT Body Brushing with 4 Special Exercises to Target Trim Inches and Reduce Cellulite.  (Body brushing is skin exercise to help tighten your skin as you lose weight)
  • Barefoot Basic+ 30-Minute Clinic Workout (You can learn the Basic Workout using DVD and the book.)
  • Radio Interview CD with Teresa Tapp
  • The Truth About Cellulite CD

Win 4 incredible DVDs!:


If you purchase the book Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes in January for $16.95, you’ll also get a bonus DVD Healthy Hormones: Brain-Body Fitness Documentary DVD (Retail $24.95):


Or get the Basic Workout Plus DVD and start getting fit and fabulous in 15 minutes!  It’s only $35.95 in January and comes with 3 bonus items: Barefoot Basic Plus DVD (Retail $29.95),
Basic Plus Tempo DVD (Retail $29.95), and Yes You Can with T-Tapp DVD (Retail $19.95)

Enter to win the T-Tapp Prize Pack on the Rafflecopter App below.  Winner must be 18+ years and live in continental U.S.  The winner will be chosen on Wednesday January 14, 2015 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

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(Disclosure: All items for the Prize Pack were purchased by myself because I love T-Tapp and want to share it with others!  This post contains affiliate links.)

Sale and Giveaway of Motivated Moms Planners

New Motivated Moms square

If you have read my blog for a while, you may remember me sharing about the Motivated Moms planners in the past.

This planner is just incredible!  It’s just what a busy woman needs!  What you’ll find is a planner that tells you what to do every day.  There are the basics (clean kitchen sink, read to children, take medications, vacuum living room), but also the exotic chores we never seem to get to (change furnace filter, clean ceiling fan, clean freezer compartment in fridge, pull dead leaves off of houseplants).  If you follow it each day, you’ll get your spring cleaning spread throughout the whole year!  I love that!

Motivated Moms Planner

There are two different ways to use this planner–through an ebook format or an app.  In the past I have used the ebook format, printed mine out, and made a cute cover for it! There are lots of versions of this planner (different sizes, with or without Bible reading, etc.).

But lately I’ve been using it in app format.  There are so many different ways to customize it for what will be most useful for you.  When you make customizations, they will carry over when you renew it the next year!  It’s available for iOS devices (Motivated Moms) and Android.

Motivated Moms Review

The BIG SALE of the year is from December 31, 2014- January 2, 2015.  The ebooks are $2 off (so $6), no coupon code required!

The normal price is $1.99 for the app and includes 2 months of tasks and server access. The app will be on sale for 99¢. A year subscription is normally $7.99 but it will be on sale for $5.99.


But I also have a giveaway with 3 Winners!  You choose which ebook or app you’d like!  Enter below on the Rafflecopter app.  (If you purchase the ebook during the sale and then win it, you’ll get a refund.  An app purchase can’t be refunded, though.) The winners will be chosen on Sunday January 11, 2015 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.


New Motivated Moms rectangle

a Rafflecopter giveaway


(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I have received complimentary ebooks and apps in order to honestly review them.)

Giveaway: bobble SPORT Reusable Water Bottle

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 10.38.30 PMWelcome to our week-long, bobble SPORT reusable water bottle giveaway, that we are co-hosting with a wonderful group of mommy bloggers from across the United States.


According to the website Ban The Bottle;

  • Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year3.
  • The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400.

And, what about chlorine?

Chlorine was originally used in our water to combat water-borne illnesses, however we must remember it is a chemical, and absorbing it may not be such a good idea.

So What Can We Do ?

Using reusable water bottles is a HUGE step in the right direction. Fill up your bottle with water from a tap, and if you do not like the taste of your water or you are worried about impurities, try it with a filter; no matter what, this is going to be a better option than participating in the single-use plastic water bottle epidemic, which also contributes to littering and damaging our planet, but that is a whole other article.

Or, better yet, use a bottle that has a filter built-in….

Replaceable water filter

Replaceable water filter

Introducing the bobble SPORT

The new bobble SPORT bottle is a hydrated water filtration system which uses a replaceable carbon filter, in effect removing chlorine and impurities from standard tap water. Each filter astoundingly equates to drinking 300 single-serve bottles of water!

As the name suggests, the bobble SPORT is perfect for a busy on-the-go lifestyle, use it at the gym, or fit it perfectly into your stroller cup holder.

It has a molded in-grip feature, comes in seven pretty colors, is made in the USA, is dishwasher safe, and has a carry cap lid so you do not lose it. It is also free of BPA, Pthalates and PVC – love that!

By drinking just under four, 22 ounce water filled bobble SPORT a day, you will easily hit the suggested 8 cup a day minimum of water!

Giveaway Time


First place winner will win a prize package which retails for $75, including a bobble hoodie, a bobble sports top, a bobble gym bag and a bobble SPORT bottle.

While, 2 additional winners will win a bobble SPORT bottle, valued at $12.

Otherwise, through December the 31st, bobble is offering 20% off on their website, using the code GIVEFUN.

If you are one of the winners, bobble will send out the prize to you direct from their warehouse.

This giveaway starts at midnight on Sunday December the 14th, ending on Sunday December the 21st at midnight EST. It is open to the USA only.

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Disclaimer: The participating blogs, and Willy B Mum and I Choose Joy! are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes.

Review/ Giveaway: Christmas Art Lesson DVD from See the Light

Christmas Art Lesson DVD Giveaway

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know how much we LOVE the See the Light art instruction DVDs here at our home. We don’t have professional art instruction outside the home, so this is how I help my kids grow in their art skills. And, it’s fun!

So, this week we started their Christmas DVD. It’s called The Gift of Love. There are 3 art projects on it, and we have only done the first so far. It’s called Creative Lettering and uses mostly simple art supplies– printer paper, ruler, #2 pencil, colored pencils, plus a box of Extreme Colored Pencils (fluorescent) and a black light (can be purchased from See the Light).

The DVD contains 143 minutes of content: the Christmas story is told with narration and chalk art, Creative Lettering lesson (33 minutes), Drawing lesson with colored pencils (37 minutes), and Chalk-art lesson (19 minutes).  The most fun is using the black art to see something that they added that can’t be seen without the special lighting!  The art lessons are best for ages 6 and up.

See below what my kids (ages 8, 9, and 11) accomplished! And then enter below to win a copy of See the Light’s The Gift of Love DVD for yourself!

See the Light Christmas 001 See the Light Christmas 003 See the Light Christmas 005 See the Light Christmas 008 See the Light Christmas 011 See the Light Christmas 012 See the Light Christmas 014

Now through December 15th you can get 20% off ART PROJECTS SET (9 DVDs of Art lessons for ages 10 and up–but I’ve used it for younger kids, too) + 20 % off on everything else on the same order + FREE SHIPPING in the USA  Coupon code: BLACKCYBER

And now a GIVEAWAY!

Someone will win The Gift of Love art lesson DVD. The winner will be chosen on December 13 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.  Enter through the Rafflecopter app below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(This post contains affiliate links.)


Linked to

Review “VeggieTales in the House” & Netflix Gift Card Giveaway!

VeggieTales In the House Logo



We started watching Netflix about a year ago.  Since then our kids have started watching TV shows; they had never watched TV before that.  Last weekend, though, my husband stopped to look at the My Little Pony episode that they younger kids were watching and said it was full of bad attitudes and he didn’t want them watching it anymore.  Thank goodness for VeggieTales in the House.

We have watched the first five episodes and are happy to say that kids will not get bad attitudes from this show!

On Nov. 26, VeggieTales, the most popular faith-based children’s entertainment brand, unveiled a brand-new Netflix original series for kids, VeggieTales In the HouseThe all-new series marks the first time in the 21-year history of VeggieTales that Bob, Larry and the veggie crew venture off the countertop for exciting new adventures, while remaining true to the values-driven storytelling that has long made VeggieTales such a beloved part of childhood.  The first five 22-minute episodes will be available for Netflix members in the US, Canada, Latin America, UK, Ireland, the Nordics, Benelux and France to watch instantly. “There’s a whole world that’s been right under our noses this whole time, and we can’t wait to see it,” said VeggieTales star Bob the Tomato. Echoed Larry the Cucumber: “The sweet potatoes are so excited, they don’t even know where to starch!”
In VeggieTales In the House, the veggies will take on a new, refreshed look as DreamWorks Animation puts its creative muscle behind the beloved faith-based brand.  VeggieTales creator Big Idea became part of DreamWorks in 2012 as part of the studio’s acquisition of Classic Media“We’re excited to give the beloved VeggieTales a brand new adventure,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content, Netflix.  “For many of our 53 million members worldwide, this will be the first time they’ve been introduced to the world’s most entertaining vegetables.  We hope many more families become fans of this wholesome preschool series.”
In each 22-minute episode of VeggieTales In the House, two separate 11-minute stories impart important life lessons, designed to please both young viewers and longtime fans of the VeggieTales brand. Every episode also includes brand-new songs and, of course, the famous closing phrase that has been at the heart of VeggieTales from the beginning: “God made you special, and He loves you very much.”

VeggieTales in the House 013
There are definitely some different things about the new VeggieTales.  First of all, they look different and the animation style is different.  It didn’t take us too long to get used to that, though.  Bob and Larry’s voices sound the same.  But Petunia and Junior sound very different.  I didn’t like that!
But, I love the values that are taught.  Kids learn to be honest, to be obedient (and not to hide it when they do something wrong), to be kind, and to be responsible, etc.  There is still a Bible verse in every episode as there was with past VeggieTales movies, but now it is woven into the story.  I am glad to have found a TV show that my kids can now watch without us hesitating!
And now you can win a 3-month Netflix Gift Card!  Enter below on the Rafflecopter.  Winner will be chosen on 12/13 /14 (love that date!) and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.  US and Canada only.  See other details on the disclaimer below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 (Netflix gift card) 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.

Review/ Giveaway “What’s in the Bible? Vol. 10 Jesus is the Good News!” DVD

I’m so excited to review (and host a Giveaway!) of the DVD “What’s in the Bible? Vol. 10 Jesus is the Good News!”  This is another Buck Denver DVD from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer!

The whole “What’s in the Bible” DVD series was created to explain the Bible to kids.  This particular DVD (volume 10) has 2 25-minute episodes called God’s Perfect Timing (where kids learn about the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments and how Jesus arrives at the perfect time) and The Messiah Has Come! (where kids learn about Jesus’ life and ministry).  The whole run of the DVD is about 66 minutes long.

It begins with basic Christian beliefs and a review of what happened in the Old Testament, all taught by puppets!  Then, we learn what had to happen to make it easier for the news about Jesus to spread around the world–communication and transportation.  We learn about Alexander the Great and his conquests, and how he had spread the Greek language and culture into Europe and Asia. During the next 200 years, the Roman empire took over Alexander’s empire and they expanded even more.  And they built roads!

What was happening to the Jews during those 400 years between testaments? They were ruled by different empires.  We learn about Jewish History.  They broke into four groups: the Pharisees, the Saducess, the Zealots, and the Essenes.

Then we begin to learn about the New Testament, and what books are in it.  We get some great details (even some things I didn’t know!) about the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

I love Phil’s description of how we need to understand the Old and New Testaments together.  We don’t get the whole story if we don’t understand both.  The gospel is fully explained by him.  It might be a bit over young kids’ heads, but I love how he says it in various ways to try to make sure everyone understands sin, and Jesus’ redemptive power.

In the 2nd episode, we learn all about the life of Jesus! The birth of John the Baptist, Jesus’ birth, the geneology of Jesus, his baptism, miracles, death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension.


Check out the trailer here!

And now for the Giveaway of the DVD “What’s in the Bible? Vol. 10 Jesus is the Good News!”

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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. US & Canada only.

Winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email.  This post also contains affiliate links.

How We Use Kindle Books in Our Home/ plus Kindle Giveaway!

Kindle Giveaway


Are you excited about winning a Kindle?  Be sure to read to the end of the post to learn how to enter the giveaway!

But before you do, let me share how we use Kindle books in our home.  I don’t own a Kindle, but you don’t need one in order to read Kindle books!  I have the Kindle app on my phone, tablet, and computer, so it’s so easy just to read them or print from there!

Often, Amazon offers Kindle books for free or very discounted.  Usually, the ebook version is cheaper than the physical book version.  I try to get them inexpensively and then they are always available.  I have devotional books, blogging books, and homeschooling books.  We also use them for literature in our homeschool.

Here are a few of my favorites:

One thing I learned recently was that our library offers ebook check-outs.  I was trying to get a book that was very popular, and the hold time was months away.  So, I checked out the ebook version instead, and it came through Kindle!

I’ve heard so many good things about this special Kindle for kids:

So, if you haven’t tried Kindle books yet, give them a try!


(This post contains affiliate links.)

Christmas Fire Giveaway

The Crew is on hiatus from writing reviews until January. So while we have a little time on our hands, we thought we’d bless our awesome readers with a super cool Christmas Fire Giveaway! Twenty of our team members and The Old Schoolhouse have joined together to sponsor this incredible giveaway with 3 winners!

We are excited to be giving away not one, not two, but THREE Fire HD Tablets!

One person will win a Fire HD 7 Tablet, and TWO people will win a Fire HD 6 Kid’s Edition (in your choice of lime green, blue or pink).

Fire HD 7 Tablet ($139 value, one winner)

Powerful, full-featured Fire HD tablet—with beautiful 7″ HD display, 2x faster quad-core processer, dual speakers with Dolby Audio, and unsurpassed reliability in its class.

Fire HD 6 Kid’s Edition ($149 value, two winners)

All-new Fire HD 6 tablet—with 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, Kid-Proof Case, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee—up to $95 in savings


To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. The winner will be announced at our It’s a Crew Christmas Facebook Party on Tuesday, December 16, 9PM ET.

RSVP for the Christmas Party

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Terms and Conditions:

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Amazon. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn. Entry into this giveaway will subscribe you to the Schoolhouse Review Crew email list.

Sponsoring Crew Bloggers

Nine Naturals $280+ Jackpot Giveaway!

NN_Partnership-Logos_030313-01Welcome to our week-long giveaway that we are co-hosting with a fabulous group of mommy bloggers from across the United States and Canada.

We are very excited to be giving away toxic-free goodies from Brooklyn (New York) based company Nine Naturals. Forward-thinking Nine Naturals make personal products which are smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. They craft their products using only natural and organic ingredients, which include shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, deodorant, body wash, sunscreen and lip balm.

Mommy BewareNine-Naturals-Citrus-+-Mint-Nourishing-Shampoo_final_5_3_cap

For a health conscious mother or mother-to-be, most of us are well aware as to the dangers of eating genetically modified foods and foods sprayed with pesticides. We are aware of the dangers of drinking coffee, consuming alcohol, or smoking during pregnancy, and so many other things. However, not a lot of attention is spent on the dangers of slathering disease-causing chemicals and endocrine disruptors on our bodies, which are found in most mainstream personal products. Especially, as these are used on a daily basis!

The skin is the largest organ, and it aptly absorbs whatever is put on it very quickly, traveling into the blood stream, moving around the body, and of course this can affect a fragile fetus growing inside.

So What is Available and Safe to use during pregnancy

New-Belly-ButtersmallNine Naturals are 100% plant-based products, which are free of all the nasties one wants to avoid like, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances and artificial preservatives.

All Nine Naturals products are derived from nature, there is absolutely nothing artificial in their formulas. Additionally, all the ingredients have been pre-screened to make sure that they are safe for Mom and Baby, which is very assuring. Nine Naturals also happily disclose all additives that they use, and we love that, as most companies do not tell you what they are putting in their products.

We appreciate that Nine Naturals offer an unscented body butter, as speaking from experience, at one point in my pregnancy there was a stage where I could not stomach a lot of smells! Other essential oil based fragrances that are used in Nine Natural products have been formulated to ease common pregnancy complaints like morning sickness and fatigue – so thoughtful!

screen_shot_2014-10-06_at_12.07.25_pmThe Nine Naturals website is also filled to the brim with information like their handy explanation of all ingredients used in their products which you can see HERE.

You can order Nine Naturals from their website easily. Free shipping is contributed on all USA orders of $50+, a 10% off coupon is emailed to you if you sign up for their email list, and they offer a $5 sample set to try their shampoo and conditioner (just in case you want to try it first).

Nine Naturals is caring small company, who are focused on making a mother’s pregnancy that little bit less stressful but don’t take our word for it, visit their website and check out their energy for yourself!

Giveaway Time

IMG_8700Thanks to Nine Naturals for offering this very generous prize.

One grand prize winner will win the full line of products from Nine Naturals valued at $280, including;

While, 5 additional winners will win a body balm, valued at $15.

If you are one of the winners, Nine Naturals will send out the prize to you direct from their warehouse. This giveaway starts at midnight on Wednesday November the 26th, ending on Tuesday December the 2nd at midnight EST. It is open to the USA and Canada only.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by I Choose Joy!

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Disclaimer: The participating blogs, including I Choose Joy!, and Willy B Mum are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prizes.


Book Review/ Giveaway: “Rescue- Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture”

I now have a teenager, and next year I will have 2! It won’t be long, in fact, until I’ll have 5 teenagers all at once!
So, when I was offered the opportunity to review Candy Gibb’s book Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture, I felt like I could use a refresher course on what to expect from the teen years, as well as what the new issues are that I’ll be facing.

Rescue is a very helpful book for learning about parenting teenagers.  The author Candy gives much wisdom herself.  She is the mother of three children, but she is also the Executive Director of a major Crisis Pregnancy Center in Amarillo, TX called CareNet Pregnancy Center. She has an amazing story of redemption, the video of which can be found here.  She deals with tough teen issues daily, so it was so good for me to read her advice on how to approach these tough topics.

But the book doesn’t just have words of advice from Candy.  She has assembled a group of recently graduated teens –mostly college students– into a group she calls the Lifeguards.  In each chapter she has each of them share from their own experiences.  Wow- what an eye-opener.  I’ve already been feeling lately that things truly are different for my kids that they were for me, and that there is a generation gap between us that I wish weren’t there.  I know reading Rescue is going to help me with that.

Here are the chapters you’ll find in Rescue:

1- Your Family

2- Faith/Identity

3- Teens, Sex, and Society

4- Technology

5- My Teen is Struggling with Homosexuality

6- Pro-Life & Pro-Choice

7- Communication

8- Mentoring

9- Preparing Teens for College & Beyond

10- Building an Ark


The format of the book includes “Commentaries from Candy,” “Let’s Ask the Lifeguards,” “Treading Tips” (practical nuggets of wisdom that sumarize the lessons), and “Life Preservers” (relevant and encouraging Scripture).

You will find that Rescue is written from a biblical perspective.  She encourages us to have our teens in church. But it is so much more practical and real that that.


Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Teaching your teen to find value and identity in the Lord is more critical than teaching them to eat healthy and helping them get into the university of their choice.  Remind your teenager of the Lord’s calling on their life.”

“A lack of identity is prevalent due in part to the influence of  social media. . .  Often times, when someone posts a selfie, it’s to get a response. . .  ‘Do you think I’m beaufiful?’ or ‘How would you rate me?’ ”

“Prepare your teens for the ridicule they will likely face from their peers if they choose to remain sexually pure.  Help them develop ways to deal with it.”


Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture is completely filled with practical advice such as this.  I’m so happy to have a copy of the book to give away!


Update:  The winner is AmySD!


(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Rescue in order to write this honest review.  I also received one to give away.   This post contains affiliate links.)

Review/ Giveaway “Buck Denver: Why Do We Call it Christmas?” DVD

Today we have a Review and Giveaway of the DVD “Buck Denver asks Why Do We Call it Christmas?”

If you have kids ages 4-10, they’ll love it!  Mine did.

“Buck Denver asks Why Do We Call it Christmas?” is from the VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer.  He even appears in the video talking to the kids and narrating some about the story.  But most of the movie is done with puppets and animation.

There are many episodes of Buck Denver; most explain about something in the Bible.  This one explains where Christmas and some of its traditions came from.

Here is what your kids will learn from the funny puppets, clever storyline, and catchy songs:

*That the word Christmas is from the Christ’s Mass celebration in the church.

*That we celebrate Christmas on December 25 because it used to be a pagan holiday that was switched to be Christian by the Roman Emperor Julius 1.

*That there are 25 million Christians in India.

*That Emperor Dionysius made a mistake calculating Christ’s birth for the new calendar, and He was actually born in 4 or 5 B.C.

*That the tradition of the Christmas tree came from the missionary Boniface who used the tree as a symbol to teach a pagan group of people about Christ who used to think of the trees as sacred.

*That Santa Claus comes from the story of St. Nicholas who gave money and gifts to the poor. He was a bishop and wore a red coat and hat. He is celebrated on St. Nicholas Day on December 6.  His German and Dutch name sounds more like Santa Claus, so that’s why we call him that.

*That our modern-day Christmas is a mixture of the December 6 and 25 celebrations, which is why we have baby Jesus and Santa Claus on the same day.

*That the holiday of Hanukkah began 300 years before Jesus and He even celebrated it.

The DVD ends with an explanation of the Christmas story–Mary and Jesus going to Bethlehem and what happened at His birth.

The best part of the whole movie was that the Gospel is very clearly explained!  Those watching will learn exactly who Jesus is and what He did for us by coming to the earth, dying on the cross for our sins, and rising to new life!

The “Buck Denver asks Why Do We Call it Christmas?” DVD is about 60 minutes long.  See the trailer here:

There are some fun free activities at the Buck Denver website.

Please enter below on the Rafflecopter app if you would like to win a copy!  The winner will be chosen on November 21 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.)

New Product Giveaway: SQUILT Christmas Carols (and a Sale!)

Christmas background with sheet music

I’m so happy to introduce the newest SQUILT volume today!  SQUILT Christmas Carols by Mary Prather is being released today!  (And there’s a giveaway of it–read to the end of the post!)

SQUILT stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time and is a method for EASY teaching of music appreciation for your kids!  It’s perfect for homeschoolers or any kids and for all ages!


All SQUILT volumes (including the new Christmas Carol volume) will be discounted 25% using the code BIRTHDAY at checkout. This sale will run 11/3-11/10.

Here’s how it works.  SQUILT is a downloadable file, so it’s available as soon as purchased.  Christmas Carols is 24 pages long and teaches about 5 Christmas carols: Carol of the Bells, Away in a Manger, The Little Drummer Boy, Angels We Have Heard on High, and O Come, O Come Emmanuel.  You’ll find everything you need included–what to teach, links for more info (including special sites like how to draw something), and links to the music to listen to (on YouTube)!  It’s so easy.

SQUILT Christmas Carols 022

SQUILT Christmas Carols 021

Mary suggests using SQUILT twice a week and doing the same song for each day.  There are notebooking sheets for the kids to fill out. The one for the older kids is more detailed and asks them to white about the dynamics, rhythm/tempo, instrumentation, and mood.  For the younger kids, they simply “draw what they hear!”

I use my computer to look at the curriculum and click through to listen to the music:


SQUILT Christmas Carols 018

Or you can watch/listen/read about it on your tablet!

SQUILT Christmas Carols iPad

Here is my daughter working on SQUILT Christmas Carols:

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For “The Little Drummer Boy:”

SQUILT Christmas Carols 023

You might want to check out my other reviews to read about Volume 1 Baroque, Volume 2 Classical, and Volume 3 Romantic.  These are great for introducting your children to composers and music of those musical time periods!

Remember the sale with coupon code BIRTHDAY to get 25% off any of the volumes!

And enter the giveaway of SQUILT Volume 1, 2, or 3  (your choice) here.  Enter on the Rafflecopter app below.  Winner will be chosen on November 9, 2014 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

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Linked to Trivium Tuesdays

(Disclosure: I received a copy of SQUILT Christmas Carols and Volumes 1,2, and 3 for help in writing honest reviews. I am also an affiliate of SQUILT and this post contains affiliate links.)

Giveaway: Natracare Goodie Bag & More



Welcome to our 72-hour Natracare giveaway, which is being hosted by 16 awesome Mommy Bloggers across the United States.  I’m one of the 16!
We are very excited to be giving away green-inspired hygiene products to one lucky lady out there!

Natracare is forward-thinking mompreneur company, offering women organic & natural solutions for personal health.

We Live in a Toxic World

One’s health can be affected by a variety of factors that we are unable to control, like genetics, income, where we live, relationships, mental well being etc. However, there are some things that we can control, like the products we use, which are in direct contact with our bodies.

You can find a stockist near you by using the Natracare store locator HERE.

Giveaway Time:

Want to win a $60 goody bag from Natracare including the following;

  • 1 Natracare Sisters t-shirt
  • 1 Makeup Removal Wipes
  • 1 Intimate Wipes
  • 1 Ultra Extra-Normal Pads
  • 1 Wrapped Panty Liners-Normal
  • 1 Regular Applicator Tampons
  • 1 by 10 count Super Non-Applicator Tampons

Or, as added incentive, what about a second prize, worth $40 from start-up Wythe and Berry Apothecary, including 1 organic facial steam mixture and a decadent handcrafted body cream?

If you are the winner, Natracare will send out the prize to you direct from their warehouse. Respectively, Wythe and Berry Apothecary will send out their prize to the 2nd place winner.

This giveaway starts at midnight on Saturday November the 1st, ending on Tuesday November the 4th at midnight EST. It is open to the USA only.


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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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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

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:


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


Email –

Facebook Author Page


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.)

$5.99 Homeschool T-Shirt Sale and Giveaway!

Astronomy Gen Science T-Shirt 010

Are you ready for this year’s $5.99 Homeschool T-Shirt Sale and Giveaway?  Look at the great T-Shirt I got this year!

Head over to the Great Products website to check out all the great designs!  And they’re only $5.99–but only until September 15.

I’m happy to be able to give away this t-shirt:  Bird House– “We learn best in the nest.”  I just love the beautiful design of the birds, bird house, and flowers.  I got it with a pink shirt, adult size medium.  It fits perfectly.  

Astronomy Gen Science T-Shirt 013

You can one win one for yourself!  Enter through the Rafflecopter app below.  Winner will be chosen on Saturday Sept. 13 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.  The winner must be in the continental U.S. (Disclosure: I received a free t-shirt to review.)

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Intro to All About Reading Level 3 & Giveaway of All About Reading Level 4



I was so proud of my 9-year-old daughter for finishing All About Reading 2 last year.  It wasn’t easy for her, but I saw so much improvement!  One of the best things about All About Reading is that it follows a specific set of activities, so she knew what to expect each day that we worked on it.  We usually took 2-4 days to finish a lesson, but that’s OK.  She’s learning to read.  Hooray!

Here is the order that we do for each lesson:

1.  Review phonograms and words from the flashcards

2.  Learn something new using our magnetic white board and tiles

3.  Practice on an activity sheet  AAR_Level3_Swing-into-Reading_Pages

4.  Read words and phrases in the student book

5.  Learn new words on flashcards

Then the next lesson includes practicing words and phrases that will be in the story and reading the story!


Now, I’m happy to share with you All About Reading Level 3.  I can see that we will be delving into more complicated phonograms and adding some much for difficult sight words.  She will be at a much higher reading level when we complete this level.

If you are looking for a reading curriculum that is very well-researched and is easy for the teacher/mom to teach, check out All About Reading!


All About Reading has now come out with Level 4.  Here are some a free download of the first activity sheet in Level 4, “Eagles Learn to Fly.” It’s designed to review words learned in Level 3, so your child will be ready to tackle the new concepts in Level 4. It’s even customizable so you can add your own words!


There is SALE of the AAR Level 4 Materials September 4-15!

Sale prices will be as follows:

  • AAR Level 4 Materials (Teacher’s Manual, Student Packet, 2 Readers): $99.95 ($20 off!)
  • AAR Level 4 Student Packet (includes Activity Book): $40.95
  • AAR Level 4 Soar with Reading Activity Book only: $25.95
  • AAR Level 4 Teacher’s Manual only: $32.95
  • AAR Level 4 Heirloom Antics Reader: $16.95
  • AAR Level 4 The Voyage Reader: $16.95
  • AAR Level 4 Soaring Balloon Stickers: $0.85

**And they have a GIVEAWAY to win the Level 4 Materials!  It ends September 14, so enter now!


(I am an affiliate of All About Learning Press, and this post contains affiliate links.)

“See the Light” September Special and Giveaway of Art Projects Boxed Set

art projects

Did you purchase an art curriculum for this year?  We didn’t but were planning on using the See the Light Bible Story DVDs and Cartooning.  The only downside is that the kids have already done those!  So, I am seriously considering getting this special!  Nine DVDs means they can work on one a month!  I just love the “See the Light” art DVDs.  The art instruction is top-notch–and they’re biblically-based!

If you aren’t sure about purchasing the set at this time, be sure to enter the giveaway!

Art Projects: Boxed Set is on special during the month of September!

Get A School-Year’s Worth Of Lessons In This Must-Have Boxed Set! It’s truly the perfect high school fine art credit on the market!  (But younger kids will enjoy it, too!)

See the Light - Art Projects DVD series

Create Your Own Masterpiece In The Style Of 9 Famous Artists!


The regular price: $99.99

During the month of September you can purchase Art Projects: Boxed Set for 89.99+ FREE SHIPPING in the USA.

Coupon Code to use: STL

See the Light wants (1) family to have their very own Art Projects: Boxed Set. We will be picking a random winner on September 19th at 12a. All entries will be verified.

art projects monthly special

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.

Linked to

(Disclosure: I am an affiliate of “See the Light” and this post contains affiliate links.)

Orkin Fact or Fake (Giveaway!)

Factorfake prizepack

Here’s a fun giveaway for you today!  It’s scientific prize pack from Orkin just for back-to-school time.  I’m really excited about the iPhone camera lens! Orkin is back with their awesome Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake series of famous bug myths!

 Take the quiz on the  Orkin Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake Blog App to test your knowledge and share the app with your friends!

One of you will win the Orkin Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK!

The Orkin Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK includes: 
– Clip-on Fisheye Lens (iPhone, Galaxy, Android compatible)
– Orkin On-the-Go Drink Tumbler
– Orkin Drawstring Bag
– Orkin “Field Notes” Notebook w/ Pen

You’ve heard the myths about bugs before. Do you know what’s fact and what’s fake?

“Daddy longlegs are poisonous.”
“Mosquitoes prefer adults over children.”
“Ants can survive underwater.”


Take Orkin’s Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake™ Quiz to test your knowledge, and be sure to watch every clip for the scoop on these infamous bug myths.  Some of them are really funny!


Orkin uses the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop a treatment that’s right for your home and your needs. To learn more about pest control that’s based in science or to schedule an inspection, visit or call (844) 503-8251.

Orkin Facebook Page:
Ask The Orkin Man® Twitter Page:
Orkin YouTube Channel:
Tweet using the #OrkinMan hashtag


Winner must live in U.S.  The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin Fact or Fake School Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. My winner will be chosen on August 30 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

Enter on the Rafflecopter app below!

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(Disclosure: I will receive a prize pack for my kids in exchange for promoting this event for Orkin LLC and they are responsible for delivering the prizes. I received no other compensation, and this post does not contain affiliate links.)

Our 2014-15 Homeschool Schedule and a BIG $500 Giveaway!

Homeschool Schedule 2014-15


Our 2014-15 Homeschool Schedule is going to be a work in progress, but I knew I needed to have something to help guide me as we get started and see what works.

The kids will be 8th grade (B), 7th grade (J), 6th grade (M), 3rd grade (R), 2nd grade (T), 1st grade (L), preschool (4 years-I), and toddler (2 years-E).  It will definitely be our most complicated year yet!

My oldest son wants to audition for all 3 Spotlight Youth Theater shows this year.  That requires a class each week, plus rehearsals Friday nights and Saturday afternoons.  The others will pick and choose which shows they want to do, but will probably do the classes all year.  We’ll be in the Institute for Cultural Communicators public speaking class twice a month.  The 3 oldest kids will be in band at Westlake Christian Academy (2 different bands, plus lessons).  Five kids will take violin lessons, four or five will take piano lessons, 1 in saxophone lessons, and 2 in drum lessons.  I really should start teaching them voice lessons, too.  Eeek!

I’m actually glad we are in the Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group this year because it will push all of us to get the week’s assignments due even if we are tired from all the other activities we are doing.

So, here are my thoughts for the schedule:  (Wednesday mornings are the Tapestry group.)

6:00 I get up, devotions, get ready, and exercise.  My husband and band kids get up and get ready.

7:00 Husband and band kids leave.  He rest of the kids get up and eat breakfast.  Chores and start dinner.

8:00 Written work for everyone.  Help them as needed (math, handwriting, grammar, writing, geography, science notebooks).  (Pick up kids from band on Mondays and Wednesdays.)

9:00  All About Reading lesson with R.  (Pick up kids from band on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)

9:30 Reading and phonics lessons with T, L, and I

10:00 Bible lesson for kids preschool through 6th grade (Finish “Jonah” Sword Study from, then Who is God? from Apologia and Grapevine Studies of Old Testament) and Science reading (Apologia Exploring Creation With Astronomy). On Fridays we’ll do the Science experiments/projects.

11:00 All About Spelling lesson with R.

11:30 Lunch and chores

12:00 Free time

1:00 Toddler to bed

1:15-2:15 Read-Alouds of history and literature (Tapestry of Grace books.)

2:15 Science lesson with 3 middle school kids.  Help kids with math and check older kids’ work.

3:30 music lessons and practice; work on housework, office work, school planning, and blogging; Speech class on Thursdays, Drama class on Tuesdays, Spotlight rehearsals on Fridays.

5:30 Dinner and chores

8:00 Kids get ready for bed.  Husband read to older boys.  I read to younger kids.

9:00 Lights out for kids

10:00 Lights out for husband and me

Busy times!!!


If you homeschool, enter this giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with 29 other homeschool bloggers to bless a homeschooler with $500! The giveaway ends August 24th at 11:59pm EDT. You must have a Paypal account in order to win.

We can’t wait to bless a fellow homeschooler at the end of the week!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the other bloggers who have joined to provide this giveaway! Visit and thank them!

(Disclosure: I joined in with a group of other homeschoolers to provide this giveaway. We aren’t eligible to win.)