Autumn {a poem}

by fall

Autumn

Can you see the colors: crimson, gold and amber?

Can you hear the crackle and crunch of the leaves?

Can you feel the crisp fall air?

Can you smell the scent of a ripe, plump apple?

Can you taste the warmth of a freshly baked pie?

 

©DiannaAuton.com

VocabularySpellingCity Review

 

I got the opportunity to try VocabularySpellingCity ‘s  VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership in order to review it. At first I wasn’t so sure this was something that I would use but the more we tried it the more I realized that this is exactly the spelling/vocabulary program that might work the best for my kids. This site features: spelling games, vocabulary games, language arts games and printable sheets for writing practice as well as flash cards for learning the words that you are using. You can input your own word list or access lists that are already there.  It’s premium membership is $29.99 per year and that includes up to 5

students. This program is for kids in grades: K-12th grade. With the premium membership you get access to not only the free membership benefits but there is so much more that is offered as well such as: record keeping, customizable lists in order to meet each students needs, differentiated learning, accountability and vocabulary activities.

Some of the activities you can print out as well and you know which ones they are because they have the little printer icon next to the activity. Like these flash cards that you can print out for your students or you can use them online as well. There are fun matching games and typing games which not only helps the child to learn spelling skills but typing skills as well. And in today’s technological world it is a must to learn how to type properly.
The games and activities are very colorful so they will attract the attention of younger students as well as still be useful for the older ones as well. If you have a competitive child they may like the fact that the high scorers initials are shown as the high scores on the site and that may give them a goal to strive for and in turn make them much better spellers.
For the younger kids and/or struggling readers, I like that there is audio on all the games. The narrator reads the words/sentences and instructions aloud so that the student understands what they need to do. You can also mute this option if you would rather read it for yourselves.
As the teacher I also like that I can track my kids tests and scores and view them in my teacher homepage. I have not utilized this as of yet but I am planning on working on this in the next few weeks. I can also leave notes to my students via my page in case there is something I need to let my student know and they can access it on their homepage. I don’t know that I will use this feature since I am a homeschool mom but I may if I get busy. I know that is a feature that will work great for schools and homeschool moms or even co-ops that might use this system. I really like the thought and ease of use they put into this and my girls enjoy spelling when its fun. They make it fun.
I do like that there are lists already set up I just wish the lists could be accessed more by grade or spelling level than going through the local school lists. But it’s really not that big of a deal that I can’t use it. Just a preference on my part really. Overall I think it’s a great program and look forward to using it throughout the rest of our school year.

 

    

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Just Thinking

I was thinking this evening about my dad and birthday’s and some other things. I was thinking that on the day he passed is really like his birthday. It was the day he was born into his “real” body. It was the day he was united for the first time with his only son. He was reunited with his parents and father-in-love and many of his other relatives. It was also the day he got to stand before our heavenly father and got to walk along side Jesus and talk. Some days I envy him. I can’t even begin to imagine the conversations he is having with the saints of old and some of our favorite Bible heroes. Can you imagine what it must be like to sit down and chat with Paul (aka Saul of Tarsus)? I mean seriously, I would love to be a fly on the wall there as Paul tells his story from his own mouth and even lets you ask questions that only he can answer.

What must it be like to enjoy the company of the great men of the Bible, Adam, Noah, Moses, Joshua, David, Jonathan, Daniel and so many others throughout both the old and new testaments. I can only imagine what it would be like (are you singing the song now lol). I am so looking forward to the day when I can talk to some of my heroes like Ruth, Esther, Deborah, Lydia, and Paul. I’m a huge fan of Paul. If we could be groupies of NT apostle’s I would be one of Paul’s groupies. LOL His life enthralls me. He was a man that hated the followers of Christ to the point he killed them and made martyr’s of them. And yet, God loved him and changed him so completely that he ended up being the one martyred for following Christ. I’m awed by this kind of love. Think about it. If that were to happen today what would the reaction be? If the most awful murderer that you could ever begin to imagine got ahold of God’s love, forgiveness and grace and completely turns his life around what would the reaction be? Am I making you think?

Don’t worry, I’m not expecting an answer. I’m just expecting you to begin thinking about it. That’s all I’m doing at this point. Thinking. Late. At. Night…. Again. Man I need to go to bed. lol This is what happens when I am up later than usual just thinking because I can’t sleep. Oh well, thinking is what we need to do more of. Anyway, I’m going to try to head to bed soon and I hope that my babblings have not confused you but made you think.

Good Night bloggy friends. May you have blessed and sweet sleep.

Loving Like Jesus Week 1 Thoughts

The Good Morning Girls are just finishing week 8 of there Loving Like Jesus study on Luke 17-24. However, my group is just finishing week 1. We got started late but regardless we are learning quite a bit. Each week I will share my thoughts with you from my notes of the weeks readings.

In week 1 we covered Luke chapter 17. There was a lot to go over but mostly it’s pretty simple. FB Group banner blank

Day One: Luke 17:1-4 Jesus reminds us that there is always going to be temptation in our life. That is something we are going to have to deal with every day. He goes on to say that if you find a brother or sister in sin that we should rebuke him. Now that does not mean we should just go up to people and point out to them all of their flaws or what “we think” is wrong with them. In fact this is something that should only be done when directed by the Holy Spirit and done in love. Plus he tells us that when they ask for forgiveness we should be ready and willing to forgive regardless of how many times they ask. Forgiveness is a hard thing for many people but its something that must be done. Forgiveness is so important. Mark 11:26 says “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.” That is pretty strong don’t you think? I always keep that in mind when dealing with people. Not that it makes things easier but it does help. I mean I want to be forgiven, don’t you?

Day Two: Luke 17:5-10 Jesus tells us here that we don’t need a lot of faith to do big things. Just a little faith can move fig trees. However, that said the more we MemoryVerse-01use our faith and the more we get into the Word of God the bigger our faith grows. In these verses the Lord reminds us that we are to be servants. That is what Jesus came here to do, to serve others. By being a servant to others you are serving your heavenly Father. By, obeying God’s commands we are being obedient to our “master”. Jesus was the ultimate example of a servant leader.

Day Three: Luke 17:11-19 Jesus is heading toward Jerusalem and on his way he meets ten lepers. He heals them all but only one comes back to thank Jesus for healing him. Here we are reminded to keep and have a grateful/thankful heart. We should always be thankful of what the Lord does for us even in the little things. When we become thankful for the every blessing and thing in our life our heart changes and its easier to look for the blessings even during the hard times.

Day Four: Luke 17-20-25 Jesus tells us here that we will not know when the day the Lord is to return. There will be no signs. However, he says that people will say that he is here or he is there or that he has come in this form or that but it won’t be true. We must be so careful not to be mislead by those claiming to be of the Son of Man. We must hold all up to the Word of God and judge it accordingly. When the Son of Man returns there will be no doubt of who it is.

Day Five: Luke 17: 26-37 We must remain ready because everything will be business as usual when the Lord comes back. There will be no warning and we must live our lives in such a way that it brings honor and glory to God. We also want to live to be examples to those around us so that we might bring them to Christ.

Those are just some of my notes and thoughts from week 1. There is still so much to glean from those passages. Everyone should dive into the Word more deeply. That is what my group is trying to do. To grow and learn more about our Heavenly Dad.

Field Trip Friday: Fort Loudon (a photo post)

We recently took a trip to a nearby state park where we got the opportunity to visit Fort Loudon. This is a fort that was originally built by the British forces from South Carolina to defend the western border of South Carolina during the French and Indian War. We watched a 30 minute documentary on the history of the fort and toured the small museum then we were able to walk out to the fort and look around. It’s in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains and oh what a view.

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The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky Review

424969: The Governess of Highland Hall, Edwardian Brides Series #1 The Governess of Highland Hall, Edwardian Brides Series #1
By Carrie Turansky / Multnomah Books

Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.

Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.

My Review:

If you love Downton Abbey you will love this book. I’m so glad that I have jumped in on this one at the beginning of the series. The story captures your attention from the start. Some of the story line is typical of this type of story but  there are some twists and turns along the way. It’s well written and you hate for the story to end but as with all stories they must. The connections that are made between Julia and the family of Highland Hall intrigued me as well as the friendships between the staff and the looking out for self. That era of history has always been interesting to me which is why I love books about and shows about that era.

This story is just another one that I enjoy because of the time period it shows and how the times are changing and the old is fading and the new is coming in. The whole class system in England is beginning to fade and with it comes many things to deal with. Relationships between servants and the aristocracy and so forth.

This was a fun book for me. I’ve not read a lot of fiction lately and this was a nice change and totally worth it.  I definitely recommend this one to you. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

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Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph Review

Book Description:

Women desire to live well. However, living well in this modern world is a challenge. The pace of life, along with the new front porch of social media, has changed the landscape of our lives. Women have been told for far too long that being on the go and accumulating more things will make their lives full. As a result, we grasp for the wrong things in life and come up empty.

God created us to walk with him; to know him and to be loved by him. He is our living well and when we drink from the water he continually provides, it will change us. Our marriages, our parenting, and our homemaking will be transformed.

Mommy-blogger Courtney Joseph is a cheerful realist. She tackles the challenge of holding onto vintage values in a modern world, starting with the keys to protecting our walk with God. No subject is off-limits as she moves on to marriage, parenting, and household management.

Rooted in the Bible, her practical approach includes tons of tips that are perfect for busy moms, including:

  • Simple Solutions for Studying God’s Word
  • How to Handle Marriage, Parenting, and Homemaking in a Digital Age
  • 10 Steps to Completing Your Husband
  • Dealing With Disappointed Expectations in Motherhood
  • Creating Routines that Bring Rest
  • Pursuing the Discipline and Diligence of the Proverbs 31 Woman

There is nothing more important than fostering your faith, building your marriage, training your children, and creating a haven for your family. Women Living Well is a clear and personal guide to making the most of these precious responsibilities.

My Review:

This is a great book. I’ve followed Courtney’s blog for some time now and was looking forward to reading this. The book is written just like she writes her blog posts in an uplifting and positive way. Courtney has a way of making you smile even when you don’t see her face. She just has that air about her writing. It’s such a refreshing thing. I have really very much enjoyed getting into each chapter and digging deeper in God’s word as she fills each chapter and topic with scripture references so you can see she is not just pulling this stuff out of the air. I like that.

The book is set up in a way that you can use it as a devotional or book study with a group. I do know that right now Mandy at the Biblical Homemaking blog is doing a book study for this book. I’ve been enjoying the posts so far as I finished this book right as it was starting. I really recommend this book if you are a stay-at-home, work-at-home, work-outside-the-home or want to be a mom. It’s a good book with good sound biblical advice. Courtney really shows us that even though we all want the same things for our families each family dynamic is going to look different. Even among those of us in the church that hold tight to the Word of God. My marriage does not look the same as Courtney’s nor does it look the same as my own sisters. We are different people with different situations and personalities and so on and so forth. I was excited that she pointed that out.

If you get an opportunity please make sure you go out and check out Courtney Joseph’s book. You can find out how to get a copy by clicking on the image of the book cover above (affiliate link).

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Diary of a Real Payne: True Story Review

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Geek Girl, Princess and I got the opportunity to read Barbour Publishing’s book Diary of a Real Payne by Annie Tipton for review. It’s on sale for $4.49 through Barbour Publishing. It’s 192 pages softcover and geared for ages 8 and up. Diary of a Real Payne follows the diary entry’s (which share her thoughts and feelings about her life) of EJ (aka Emma Jean) Payne who lives in the small town of Spooner, Wisconsin where her dad is a pastor and her mom is a teacher at the local elementary school. It follows EJ’s many adventures in everyday life as well as her imagination, that may or may not, get her into quite a bit of mischief. EJ learns many life lessons through her adventures especially that her life in Spooner may not be as bad as she thought… and this is only the first book in the series.

Geek Girl, Princess and I have been reading it as a read aloud book. We have found it to be quite humorous and are curious as to what EJ is going to get her self into in the next book. We’ve found it fun to read and have been amazed and laughing out loud at EJ’s antics throughout the story. It’s amazing to me the imagination on this child and reminds me very much of my girls and how their imaginations run away with them.

This book is a good addition to our library. I believe the author has written it very well and has really engaged the elementary/middle school aged kids in the story. Whether you are a kid or kid at heart it was a lot of fun. And to think this is just the beginning for EJ Payne. We wonder how much more trouble she can get in as the series progresses. It’s a nice change to some of the other books for kids that are out there right now. And it addresses a genre that no other Christian children’s author has yet tried to go after “the diary” type of books.  As a mother its always good to find a good variety of kids books to give each of my kids a chance to find something they love to read.

To view other TOS Crew members thoughts on this book click on the banner below.

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God’s World News: News Flash Review

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I received a subscription for God’s World News magazine for grades 3rd-4th, News Flash, in exchange for an honest review. The magazine is specifically for grades 3-4 and priced at $28 per year. There are also group and school rates available as well. You get 10 magazines per year along with a full color map for your kids to use to map the news. In each issue you will find 32 full color pages about the news going on today from a biblical perspective and geared toward the grade level you choose. Also inside are activities that go along with the stories. Also included in the subscription is access to the God’s World News Kids site. There is a magazine for ever grade level.
 
We received a map and two back issues from the summer to read the articles and see how we can utilize it in our school. Boo, my 3rd grader, found some of the articles very interesting and enjoyed reading it with me. Many articles opened up a bunch of questions about things and we could discuss it. Her favorite was the September issue where a lot of information about robots were discussed. They showed articles about how robots are being used all over the world for very different reasons. We were able to see some very interesting things that are being tested in this field and we shared our own opinions of why we think these are good or bad.
 
I think News Flash will be a welcome addition to our homeschool and it will be a nice break from the norm when it comes each month. My only thing with it is that we will devour it within the first week and then have to wait 3 more weeks before we get the next one. I guess that’s not the bad thing. However during the time you are waiting for your next magazine to arrive you can fill it up with stuff from the website. There are articles, fun stuff and so much more.
 
Plus the publishers of God’s World News also has World which is the adult publication and shares world news from a Biblical perspective. They also sent us a free preview of World magazine as well and its really cool. I haven’t had the chance to sit down and really look through it yet since I just got it but I’ve already marked some articles that really interested me. With your subscription to World you also gain access to their site and all it has to offer.
 
World Magazine is a bi-weekly magazine and its priced at $59.76 per year and that includes digital access as well. Or you can go strictly digital for $35.88 per year. If you want to view the world’s news from a much different perspective then I recommend this product.

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YWAM Publishing George Washington True Patriot Review

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My older two girls and I recently finished doing YWAM Publishing’s George Washington: True Patriot and George Washington: Unit Study Curriculum Guide. George Washington: True Patriot is a 224 page book available in paperback, audiobook, Nook, or Kindle editions. It is priced at $6.99 and is for ages 10 and up. George Washington: Unit Study Curriculum Guide is a 64 page paperback study guide priced at $7.49. YWAM Publishing has lots of great Heroes of History and this is just one of many. You can view a complete list of biographies in chronological order by going to the website. For this review we received the Kindle version of the reader along with a PDF version of the study guide.

At first my oldest two were not real thrilled about this book. They will get bored a lot of times with the readings of other biographies we have done but I must say after we got started not only did they enjoy it but their interest comparing George Washington’s government to how far our government has gone today was piqued. GeekGirl made many comments along the way how our country GW Unit Study photo YWAM-GWUnitstudy_zps416f4e51.jpgshould go back to what it once was and how she wished we had a man like George Washington today to help lead us out of the mess we have gotten our country in. That being said, we all learned a lot even me. I am a HUGE lover of History and especially early American history and having read a lot about Washington previously was surprised to learn even more about the first President of our country.  The story was captivating and written so well. The only thing I am disappointed about was that I don’t have this one in paperback so I am thinking I will go back and purchase this and many others for our homeschool library. We had to laugh at Princess. She was so disappointed the story ended. She wanted more. I love that it left her thirsty for more knowledge about this era of our history. I am sure there will be much more research of this subject in her future.

The study guide is awesome. It has loads of questions for each chapter to make sure your children are comprehending what is being read. There are so many fun activities and research possibilities throughout. There are also suggestions of related themes you can explore for the study that incorporates the other subjects along with a list of other books and resources that you can use to further deepen your George Washington study. There are also maps, a fact sheet and timeline to utilize in your study. I’m actually looking forward to using this again with Boo as we have at least one more year before she will be doing this. But I’ve got a ton more ideas of what to do with her thanks to doing this with the older two.  I’m also looking forward to doing more unit studies by YWAM publishing. We were very happy with this product.

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