A Bit of Catching Up

What can I say. It’s been a very busy and sporadic fall. Now we are into Winter, officially anyway. I started teaching at our Co-Op again. I got to teach Ancient World History to 3rd – 5th graders and 6th – 8th graders. I had two amazing classes for this first semester. Great students and awesome helpers.

Next semester I will be teaching History of the World Wars to the 6th-8th Grade Class and Tennessee History to our 3rd-5th grade class. My classes have increased in size yet again. I’m hoping that is a sign that the kids like me. lol

We did Senior photos for my Hope. She is all grown up and so beautiful. Here is a few from her shoot.

This was a fun shoot. The pictures really shows her personality.

Then after all of this I started another new business. I started selling Paparazzi Jewelry. The reason was because I wear so much of it and I love it and its a great price. So its definitely something I can get behind. I started this endeavor in October. So I’m still pretty new to it. But if you want to check it out you can find my online shop here.

Here is just a sample of some of our gorgeous products:

Also before all of this happened the girls and I from Aspiring to be Magazine did a photo shoot. Here are a couple photos from it:

Just a side note the necklace I’m wearing in the photo is from Paparazzi. So I was wearing it long before I started selling it.

It’s amazing to me how God opens up opportunities as well as gives you ideas of things to do. God is just so good and although life is changing constantly as we grow. God puts people in our lives that encourage and support us in all we do. As I pray about new ideas and directions I am learning not to try to push to fast or else we can get derailed. It will all come together in God’s timing.

I’ve also decided that it is therapeutic for me to pick up blogging again. I believe God gives me things and that there are times I need to share it. So I really am going to try to blog more often to keep you updated and to share whatever the Lord has put on my heart. Plus I will throw in a little bling for you to see as well.

I’m going to leave you now with photos of my kids. Can’t believe how old they are now. My youngest were 7, 5, and 2 when I first started blogging. Now they are 18, 17 and 13. Crazy how fast the years have gone. Don’t blink mamma’s or else you might miss it.

From Left to Right – Angel (8th grade), Sierra (College Freshman), and Hope (High School Senior).

I’m so proud of these girls and who they have become. I just can’t believe I’m old enough to have a college age kid.

Well I think I have caught you up to were we are now. But hopefully it won’t be so long before I blog again. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

2018/2019 Curriculum Choices and Plans

So this year I only had to plan our school year around two kids. For the past 13 school years I’ve had to work with 3 and now my oldest is starting her freshman year of college. It’s amazing to me how the time flies when you are busy living life.

FB_IMG_1528496988598

I’m so excited for Sierra’s new adventure.

So this year I will be homeschooling 2 kids. So here is my kids and what we will be doing for this year. I am taking advantage of as much online stuff as possible this year.

20180804_140100

Hope – Senior

 

IMG_20180408_163150_345

Angel – 8th Grade

 

We will throw in some unit studies, work books/sheets and field trips but that is the overall plan for this school year.

We will start our official school year on August 27th. When will you start? What are you using for your curriculum choices this year?

Graduation, New School Year and What??

And so I posted in January and that was the last time I blogged. Boy I have become a really bad homeschool blogging mom. But a lot has happened. My work hours have increased. Co-Op kept me pretty busy as well. Along with getting my senior going.

IMG_0001 (2)

So needless to say my oldest has now graduated highschool. Crazy how  quick the time has flown by. When you start them in Kindergarten, graduation day just seems so far away. Guess what? It’s not. You blink and they go from cuddle bug to adult. My grown girl has now been enrolled in college (classes start soon). She has a job on campus so between college classes and her job she won’t have much more time for anything but homework and church. I think we will squeeze in some family time here and there.

FB_IMG_1528496988598

So this summer we celebrated her accomplishment.

20180630_17134220180630_171350

You should see the most adorable cake ever that we had for her party. A friend of ours makes cakes and can pretty much do anything.

20180630_172013

We also had some fun adventures. We got to tour the B-17G Flying Fortress “Aluminum Overcast” while it was in town.

IMG_20180622_144314_415

And for the 4th watched the Fireworks with the city skyline in the distance.

20180704_214339

But now I am about to start a new homeschool year with just two students. Another senior and an 8th grader. But that is for another post and another  day.

 

So I’ve been planning for our co-op year as well as our regular homeschool year as I am again teaching history to elementary and middle school students. my class sizes have doubled and I’m really excited. Last year I learned a whole lot from teaching that I will be changing this year. This is something you learn as you go.

Plus  we are currently working on buying a house. We haven’t quite found the right one yet but it’s coming. So you could say a lot has been going on around here and will be as we begin senior year stuff for my next kid. We have to pick a location for senior pictures for our middle daughter who just celebrated her 17th birthday this past weekend.

20180804_140100

Life has been so crazy but you know what? I can not complain. I love my family and I love my life. I am so excited about what God has planned for us this school year.

However, if you do want to know what I have been doing online you should definitely check out Aspiring to Be Magazine’s blog, Facebook page, Facebook group and Instagram pages.

 

Blogging Changes & Life

We’ve been fairly busy these last few weeks with the new co-op in full swing and regular homeschool classes. Plus I’ve become more social in real life. HaHa! This introvert has been forced out of her shell and become an extroverted introvert.  In other words by nature I’m and introvert and I’ve taught myself to step out of my comfort zone and meet people and get together with people as well. It’s been a lot of fun as I am connecting and growing my circle of friends.

Life has affected my blogging as well. But that is normal when blogging is no longer a form of income and more of a hobby.   So I picked up a few other things as well to bring in the income we need such as working as a Social Media Evaluator and being an Independent Distributor for Young Living. The Young Living thing I picked up because I love the products and it works. I tried it for a year before signing up as a member and I can honestly say just from the health benefits its been worth it.

If you’ve been following me for more than a few years you would know that my blog evolved quite a bit. I started blogging a very long time ago. Over ten years. Back then it was just an outlet for me to share our lives with friends and family all over the country. Then I started blogging about homeschooling and books so I become known as a homeschool and book review blogger. Then I got involved in product reviews, and even more book reviews while trying to keep up with homeschooling and my own personal interests. All while I kept feeling the urging to write about faith and spirituality. Of course that ended up becoming Aspiring to Be Magazine and I have others working with me on that project.

The blog is evolving once again. As my kids are growing and I’m about to graduate one and send her to college and the second is only a year behind I’ve felt that I will be writing more about our health journey as well. So this is really a post to tell you all that you will see less homeschool and book reviews as I’ve almost completely stepped away from that and you will be seeing more personal stories and posts about health and whatever I feel like chatting about at this time. Most of my “faith” posts will be over at Aspiring to Be Magazine so head over there and like and follow that site so you don’t miss anything.

Now that is out of the way… Help me not freak out when I tell you that  THIS GIRL is turning 18 TOMORROW!!!!

17

I took that photo back in November for her senior photo’s. Here are a couple others from that shoot. 930

These are just a couple favorites of mine. I love this kid. She has such a big heart and fun personality and she is one of the reasons I get up every morning. I just can’t believe that she is an adult now. But alas, they do grow up no matter how badly we want to keep them small.

Well I’m heading off as I have some “work” to do. But I hope ya’ll stick with me as this blog keeps growing and changing.

signature

Peppermint: My Go To Oil

If I could only pick one oil with which to live I would have to choose Peppermint. Why? Well there are so many reasons. Peppermint is used for so many different things. We use peppermint on a daily basis in our home. Topically, diffused and internally as well.

It’s a very versatile oil with so many benefits.

Our biggest reason for using the Peppermint Vitality in Young Living is because of seasonal allergies. My oldest daughter and I have cut back quite a bit on the amount of allergy medication we have taken in the past because of using Peppermint regularly. I diffuse it for the benefit of respiratory issues and we apply topically for headaches. The vitality can also be taken internally. You can add it to your baked goods or even some of your warm drinks to add just a bit of peppermint flavor. It doesn’t take much to do it either. Just a couple drops.

Here is a video about how to use it:

Young Living Peppermint Oil: Your Everyday Must-Have from Young Living Essential Oils on Vimeo.

If you would like more information about how you can be a part of Young Living you can do so here. 

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano review

There are a handful of authors that I enjoy their stories strictly because they add humor to them. Although they are generally put under historical fiction or historical romance they seem to add some comedy in the mix and I definitely would consider it more historical romance comedy.  Not that category even exists but maybe it should.

Anyway, as I mentioned above there are a handful that do this and Jen Turano is one such author. She writes in a way that makes reading her stories a joy and you leave the book feeling good.  This particular book is one such story. Let me tell you a bit about it:

9780764217951Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano

Bethany House Publishing

“With all the charm of a Regency romance, the humor of a drawing room farce, and the swoonworthy delight of a fairy tale, Turano’s first Apart from the Crowd historical absolutely sparkles.”–Publishers Weekly on Behind the Scenes

Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader’s eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can’t help coming to his friend’s defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

Jen Turano is the USA Today bestselling author of nine books and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

I really did enjoy this story. Even though it is part of a series you really can read it as a stand alone story. However, I totally recommend that you go and pick out all the other books in the series because they are all just as good.

The story is fun and the situations that Gertrude seems to get into, whether by her own mishaps, or due to her eccentric companion or even her best friend, Permilia, who happens to have her own story, they are so funny. You will laugh out loud as you hear the descriptions of the trouble she gets into with her creatively designed bustle. But even better is the description of Permilia and her betrothed dancing. Oh my, I was almost in tears.

The chemistry between our dear Gertrude and her ruggedly handsome, albeit a bit unfashionable, highly sought after, Harrison, is unmistakable.

If they ever decide to make a movie based on one of Jen’s books I highly recommend this one. I seriously want to see how this would play out on the big screen.

This is a book that can be read in a weekend so if you are looking for a story to read over your holiday break I would definitely suggest this one. You will laugh with the interesting situations and cheer on Gertrude and Harrison as they work to find their happily ever afters.

You can click here  or the book image above to purchase a copy of this book.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book to review and post. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

*This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. I will NOT be compensated if you purchase through the links above.

Reviews, Sales, Holidays and More

Well I just can’t seem to get up to blogging every week like I used to. But oh well, such is how life works. We tend to go through seasons. And as we do, things change. Priorities change and some things aren’t as important any more.

I’m not saying you, my friends are not important, just that I have had some slightly more important things come up in my real life that has to be taken care of.

So here is an update: I’ve been “working” from home with a company to make a “real” paycheck, as blogging has not “paid” off for me as of yet.

My oldest daughter has been taking some ACT tests and both our oldest and middle daughters have picked up a lot more hours working for our church as child care workers.

We’ve been homeschooling and that of course will continue. We are joining a co-op and I will be teaching two classes for it. I’ve been working on the Magazine and new products that are in the works.  Speaking of products you should check out this post on my PKP blog about an amazing sale.

I’ve been spending much more time with my family and my hubby. Been cooking more and living in the moment. We did do senior pictures with Sierra. I’ll post a few of those soon.

Also for Aspiring to Be Magazine email subscribers there is a freebie for Advent that I created but you have to be an email subscriber to get it AND that offer will be expiring soon.

Next week I will be posting a book review for a really great book by Jen Turano. I think you all will enjoy that. So watch for that post.

I think I am caught up for the time being and I really can not make any promises that I will be on here on a regular basis as my time and energy has made a shift. But I will try to update when I am able.

I hope you all have an awesome Christmas and I will see you all soon. If you would like to keep up with me you can follow me on Instagram.

lightstock_488916_download_medium_user_1937556

Kutless Alpha/Omega Review

I was so thrilled to get the opportunity to review the CD for Kutless new album Alpha / Omega. My husband was a fan of theirs for years as he loved their hard rock sound. I became more of a fan when they started pulling more worship into the mix. With this album we are both hooked.

For those of you who may be new to Kutless here is a little bit about them.

Kutless Band

Since signing to BEC Recordings in 2001, Kutless has transformed from a new rock band to a staple artist in the industry that has multi-format, top-charting hits, sold millions of records and more than eight million streams. Launched by original members Jon Micah Sumrall (lead vocals) and guitarist James Mead, the band formed first as a modern rock/worship band at Warner Pacific College in Portland in 2000. Kutless has two RIAA Gold-selling albums for Strong Tower and Live from Portland. The band has had 12 No. 1 radio singles across all formats including their major hits “Strong Tower,” “What Faith Can Do”and “Carry Me To The Cross.”
After more than 15 years together and reaching fans around the world, Kutless continues to be focused on sharing the Gospel with a younger generation that is searching for answers.
“We really believe that music can make a difference in people’s lives,” shares Jon Micah
Sumrall. “Music is an incredibly powerful tool that can break down walls and allow us to
communicate a message of hope to people who may not listen otherwise. We are still recording and performing because we really do believe it makes a difference. We hear stories all the time from people who share with us how a concert or a song has radically impacted their life, and it’s these types of testimonies that keep us going year after year.”
In 2012, Kutless formed EOTA Ministries (End of The Age) to expand their evangelistic outreach around the globe. EOTA is the non-profit arm that aids Kutless in hosting large, free outreach concerts and events. In 2015, they partnered with other organizations to bring concerts to Kiev, Ukraine and other cities for six events – the largest of their kind in that country. The next year, Kutless returned to 11 cities in Ukraine as well as in Belarus, a communist country, where more than 100,000 heard the Gospel and over 40,000 commitments to Christ.
With their upcoming album ALPHA / OMEGA, Kutless has created a collection of rock and worship songs of both original and cover tracks that are true to who the band has been for the last 17 years. They wanted to create a project that would engage the Christian community and have the greatest impact. The songs are true to who the band is at their core – rock and worship. ALPHA / OMEGA features a new version of “Strong Tower” as well as the debut radio single “King of My Heart.”

Kutless Alpha Omega

In my opinion this will be an album that I will play over and over and over again as it has exactly what I am looking for. Good, praise and worship. The sound is awesome and fresh. You want to just lose yourself in the music as you close your eyes and throw your hands up and just worship right along with them.

I’m so appreciative of their ministry and their heart for God which flows through this cd. It’s an awesome addition to worship. I love that you can actually hear the edginess of their sound come through without it being too overwhelming. It’s straight up good music. Uplifting and full of the Spirit.

As far as a favorite song. It’s really hard for me to pick as they are all so good. But I am a bit partial to Strong Tower. It’s been a great song over the years and one we have sang often. The other is Your Great Name which again I heard many years ago and just fell in love with.

I suggest you check it out and purchase the album which you can do that here or by clicking the image of the album above.

To see a video of King of My Heart you can click here or watch below.

I hope you all will head over and check it out as I think you will be very blessed by this album. I’m looking forward to more by them.

“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 a sample of this product. 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.

Jeremy Camp “The Answer” review

I was super excited to get the opportunity to listen to and review Jeremy Camp’s new album “The Answer”. And guess what? TODAY is RELEASE DAY for this album. Yay!!!

If you have never heard of Jeremy Camp let me just say you have been living under a rock. He is such a talented musician. I’ve been listening to him for years. Pretty much since he hit the Christian music industry as I follow a lot of music. Many of his songs I’ve considered hard core worship music. Jeremy has always had a great sound and you can see his growth from each album. His stuff is always encouraging and uplifting.unnamed

This album has 11 new songs that are all amazing but I have to say one of my favorites is “My Defender” as I believe that we are never left alone and that Jesus always comes to our defense.

Seriously I love it. But don’t take my word for it. You can jump on over here and check it out for yourself.

It’s available TODAY on iTunes and in stores.

If you would like to learn more about Jeremy Camp and his music you can check out his about page on his website.

If you can’t see the video above you can click here to watch the music video “Word of Life”

Check out the video about the story behind the song “Word of Life”.

Watch the video for the title track “The Answer” here.

Of course I can’t leave this post without posting the video to my favorite song…. although they are all so good.

The video for “My Defender.”

unnamed

“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.

Free 30 Day Bible Reading Plan

I just wanted to share that over on Aspiring To Be Magazine’s blog they have this awesome reading plan. To download the plan head over there and grab it.  30 Days With Jesus

You can click the image above to go to the page OR click the link below.

30 Days with Jesus reading plan.

I hope you enjoy this free resource.