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Building Self Esteem through Music (Mother Goose Time)

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Elion loves music and she loves to dance. I watch her learn through music everyday with Mother Goose Times Circle Time CD that comes with the Mother Goose Time Curriculum. All I have to do is start to play the music and Elion comes running ready to learn and start her day. As I play the music each day, I watch her smile grow. This last week we spent time learning about rainbows, snow, and wonderful weather. Her favorite part is the music and singing.

When Elion was learning about rainbows, she learned a new song. She wanted to sing this song to everyone in her family. Through music play, a child can gain more self-esteem and confidence. Confidence in themselves and confidence with the material they are learning. She knows she is having fun singing, playing, laughing, and dancing. As her mom, I am watching her grow with learning, gaining knowledge,  and watching her love for learning grow. Music builds her self-esteem and she gets that great feeling we get inside when we are loving something and that makes us happy. It is so beautiful.

Elion does her Mother Goose Time for preschool everyday and I don’t have to ask her if she wants to because she loves doing it. We have found a wonderful preschool curriculum that fits our family. Take a look at some of the fun activities Elion did this week with Mother Goose Time!

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She learned about rain and rainbows. I loved when Elion began to make her rainbow craft. She wanted the colors to be just like the one in the picture you see above. We first talked about rain and rainbows before we began our day. I started asking her at the breakfast table about rain and rainbows. She immediately remembered the sponge activity that we did last week with Spongy Clouds. She told me about the sponges (or clouds) and how they soaked up the water. I was thrilled to listen to her excitement because she knew about rain! How wonderful! She was ready to learn that day about the rain and rainbows.

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Elion sang Rain Rain Go Away. She held up the wonderful poster and sang the words and it was so super cute. She then put her craft together consisting of a cloud that she opted to add glitter glue to and a paper chain resembled the colors of the rainbow that is pictured in the unit.
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The crafts with Mother Goose Time are very fun, simple, and easy for your child and for the parent.  Over the last week, I have noticed the ease that Mother Goose Time allows the parent and the child. Art is age appropriate and does not take time before hand to put together. Elion does the art with minimal help from myself and she loves that. At 4 years of age, she is very independent, therefore, I am very happy that mom is not doing all the work in the art for her.
While Elion was working on her rainbow, I played the Weather All Around Us CD that came with this months Weather All Around Us unit. She loved the song Drip Drop Rain because she was making a rainbow. After completing the project, all my children joined in to dance around to the Weather All Around Us CD. Music while learning is so much fun for children. My family loves music. There is nothing more fun than being silly in the middle of a school day to play with Elion. Her happiness is contagious!
After we were done having fun with dancing, I grabbed a few items from my kitchen to make an Outdoor Rain Station (part of this wonderful Mother Goose Time unit). She was Discovering Earth Science right in your backyard. As Elion played in the water, she was not just playing but discovering.
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The station ideas for Mother Goose are my favorite as a home educator. Elion has loved them all so far. My favorite, as a mom, are the Outdoor Stations and the Dramatic Play Station. Even though the weather was a little chilly outside the day we did rain and rainbows, we were in luck because the sun was shining brightly. So the weather was so wonderful for water play!
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Making our Outdoor Rain Station is simple and easy. Ours had a strainer to make rain and several different water holding buckets or Tupperware. I brought out more than 1 because my other children joined in the fun. Mother Goose Time gives you ideas to help you with each station. You can add to those they pick or just do what they have in the book. We also included the sand to make mud. If you notice, there are no pictures of her playing with mud because this mom’s children were having so much fun, I decided to join in  and put my camera down! We were making a mess with memories included thanks to wonderful Mother Goose Time and Elion learning about rain and rainbows!
This week has been so much fun. Elion also learned about snow. She made a sled that was tons of fun for Elion and her sister. I posted a wonderful video of Elion singing on Book Wishes Face Book Page along with some wonderful pictures of her sled!
Mother Goose Time incorporates so many ways for your child to learn while gaining confidence in learning and in themselves! This week, as I watched Elion learning, I really focused on her favorite part, the music. Music has been known to speak to people in so many ways. In my Elion, the music with Mother Goose Time has heighten her self-esteem. She is learning so much but the most important part to this home-educating mother is that she is loving learning. Learning is so much fun to her and she is not bored or tired with Mother Goose Time. She is excited, upbeat, and ready to start learning more each day.
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Middlebury Interactive Languages (Elementary French 1) ** 5 Star Review**

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
I am overjoyed to share Middlebury Interactive Languages with all our readers! My daughter, Curie, has asked to learn French for sometime now and I have never really known the right program to choose for her, until now. Middlebury Interactive Languages Elementary French course was the perfect fit for our homeschooling French needs. Curie received Elementary French 1 for grades 3-5 for 6 months. Therefore, we could share our thoughts on this wonderful language program with our readers. Middlebury Interactive Languages offers an array of different languages and levels for K-12.

Middlebury Interactive Languages offer:

Middlebury Interactive Languages ReviewI choose Elementary French 1 for Curie because she has never taken a language course before. I was unable to decide what would best fit her needs; however, I will admit I was a little intimidated by the online courses available.

Curie is loving learning French with Middlebury. I know this because she doesn’t just do a lesson and walk away from the computer. I have to tell her when her time is up. Curie added French into her daily routine after one lesson. She wanted to do her online French with Middlebury every day and she has. My daughter is practicing French when she is not on the computer. She is teaching the new French she has learned to family and friends which shows me that she loves to learn French with Middlebury.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
Middlebury is a very unique interactive language program. They start off with a story entirely in French. In fact, there is no English spoken in the program. This gives the student the ability to master the French words. There are activities along with each lesson that give the student a better understanding as well. All the lessons are self paced, therefore, Curie could slow it down or speed her lessons up depending on her learning level. I was impressed by the navigation of the lessons in the upper left hand corner of the screen. I can access all of her lessons and see how she is doing with each one. The stories that Elementary French gives the child to learn are stories that they most likely already understand in English; therefore, this program will not confuse them at all. Curie recognized all the stories and related to them.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
I thought I would need a paper program as well with this online language program, however, Middlebury is a complete language program. With Curie, she is getting the French lessons that she wanted that are at her pace 5 days a week. Curie is learning French fast and I would not be surprised if she moves on very quickly from elementary level 1 to elementary level 2 before the end of this semester.

The program also records your child speaking the language, as well as, giving your child a chance to know how she/he is doing in speaking the language. That impressed me as a home teacher. Curie’s French is progressing very well. When I am just sitting with her, occasionally, during the lessons, I have also learned French which is my fathers native tongue.

Overall Mom Thoughts on Middlebury Interactive Languages:

The program we received for review is without a teacher. The price for 6 months or 1 semester is 119.00 without a teacher. There is also an option for a teacher price, that we did not receive. Elementary French 1 with a teacher is 119.00 with an additional 175.00, (total 294.00), for 6 months or 1 semester with teacher included. I want to get the interactive French with the teacher next time to try the difference. I was impressed with Middlebury at the simpleness of their site and how easily we navigated through it the first time we logged in. I love my daughters excitement with learning French. I feel the program is balanced well with listening activities and interactive activities. We will continue our lessons with Middlebury French as long as my daughter loves it. Seeing her excitement, I think that will be until AP French grades 11-12. I would like to see more languages in the future. My son has taken Latin in the past. I would love for Middlebury to offer Latin in the future.

If you are looking for an awesome language program for your child, whether they are in school, (brick and mortar building) or homeschooled like mine, Middlebury Interactive Languages will not disappoint you.

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Standard Deviants Accelerate **Review**

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

Are you interested in a supplemental course online for your child that is fun and easy to navigate but not your average online course?  If your child is studying any one of these courses:

  • Arithmetic
    Fundamental Math
    Earth Science
    Nutrition
    Algebra
    Biology
    Chemistry
    English Comp.
    U.S. History
    AP Biology
    AP Chemistry
    AP U.S. Government & Politics
    AP U.S. History
    AP Eng. Composition

Then, adding Standard Deviants Accelerate is a plus to give additional education in those courses. Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses are meant for ages 8 through adult. These courses are all online. We were given access to all of the courses above from SDA (1 year subscription) for us to review for our readers! You can purchase each course to use for one student for 99.00 a year. Or you can purchase 1 course per student for 24.95 a month. The AP courses are available for 1 student at a cost of 14.95 a month. These are prices for homeschoolers per student.

Admittingly, I was super excited to get to review this online program for 3 of my children ages 9,11 and 12. My oldest is very gifted, so I was delighted to get access to the AP courses to see how he would like them in our homeschooling routine. Quickly, after we received Standard Deviants Accelerate, I was given the opportunity for a free webinar. I was impressed with the customer service that I received. The webinar was very helpful and I was able to navigate the site very quickly. I did have to email customer service once and received a quick response from them. The question I had was addressed and I was back on track with my children using this wonderful SDA program.

How we used Standard Deviants Accelerate and what courses we used:

We included SDA in our weekly routine using the program anywhere from 3-4 times a week with my oldest son, Einstein. Einstein is 12 years of age and is a gifted student. The courses he is doing with Standard Deviants Accelerate are Earth Science, Nutrition, Algebra, AP Biology, and U.S. History. We plan on completing more courses next semester with SDA. Right now those are the courses that he choose to work on. Einstein completed his book work and then was able to choose the course he wanted to complete each day. For the first few videos of each course, I would stay and listen to the video as well (helping if needed). As time progressed, I let Einstein work on his own as he became familiar in navigating the SDA site. Einstein enjoyed all the videos, however, there is humor on the videos that he found unnecessary or went over his head. Einstein did not struggle with the material in most courses. They are extremely fast paced courses and he did express the need for the videos to slow down a little. He took full advantage of the note taking part of the program (there is an area where your child can take notes by typing them). This also gives them better typing/computer skills. Einstein loved the ability to take notes and save them to a “locker”. I must admit this frustrated me at first, I was not able to save them to his locker correctly. Losing notes that he had taken in that particular course. This was why I contacted customer service just to find that it was an error on my part, not the program. Overall, Einstein did like each of his courses and wants to complete more courses. This is a break for Einstein and a refresh to me as a HS teacher because Einstein usually loves book work and not online programs. Therefore, I was happy to see that he can do both book courses, as well as, computer courses with an even balance in our homeschooling.

Standard Deviants Accelerate ReviewFor my daughter, Curie, who is 11 years of age, she choose the Nutrition course, as well as, the Fundamental Math course. She was excited about the online courses choosing to work on a Nutrition course  3 days one week then switching to work on Fundamental Math 3 days the next week and keeping that rotation in her schedule. As with Einstein, I was concerned about the Nutrition course. Our family has 2 Celiacs, (myself and our 4-year-old daughter) and most nutrition courses add in wheat, as well as processed foods. We do not eat gluten (wheat) and try not to eat processed foods. I also do not eat dairy or meat, therefore, my concern was the main teaching of the course. To my surprise, I found the course super informational for her. Instead of directing her what food too eat, they have just given her information on foods and health. This turned out to be less opinion and more informative. I loved that and so did Curie! Thumbs up for this health nut mom. I hope that it continues on and I will then have all my children take the nutrition course when they are older.

With my son Franklin, it was a bit more difficult picking a course because of his age. He is 9 years old. I had him start with Fundamental math. Franklin has a learning disability, therefore, that course was too complex for him at this time. So we tried Arithmetic which is for grades 3 and up. He is liking that course, so far, but it is hard for me to get him to sit and follow the course. Like I mentioned before, some of the humor could be taken out because it is confusing to a child his age. At the end of each section, there is an exam that the child will take. Franklin was frustrated that he could not take the exam that is given more than once. There should be a way for the student to go back and take the test again to help them improve and get a better grade. Also, the tests are hard for a child his age to understand. I am a firm believer in challenging a child’s mind to get them excited and wanting to know more about the subject; however, the test should not be only allowed 1 completion.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
My mom’s thoughts overall.

These are supplemental online courses for students that are older, not younger. Both my older children enjoyed these courses and look forward to doing more over the course of this year. I would take advantage of the SIX MONTH FREE TRAIL that Standard Deviants Accelerate has right now to see how your child likes the course. I will continue to use SDA for my older son even though some of the humor went over his head. I know the humor is meant to make the course fun and exciting to students.  I believe that both (Einstein and Curie) enjoy the videos, tests, and writing assignments that are offered in the courses that they are taking. Please remember that these are supplemental online courses and not a full course for a student. These are meant to go along with the subjects the student is learning. I would suggest to SDA to have a completion certificate at the end of each course for the student. Therefore, the student has something to print as a form of achievement for completing the SDA course. I also looked over some of the other courses that my children did not take. I will continue to purchase any courses that I believe would benefit them in the future. The AP courses are looking awesome to this homeschooling mom!

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
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Learning about Weather All Around us with Mother Goose Time **This week sunshine, wind, and clouds**

 

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There are so many wonderful things a child learns with Mother Goose Time. Elion, my 4 year old, loves all the learning fun every week. She starts her day with circle time. The songs are so much fun for children. This week, Elion, got to learn so many wonderful things about Weather All Around Us! Weather All Around Us is the theme for October from Mother Goose Time.  Mother Goose Time offers an array of educational activities for children ages 4-6, brought right to your doorstep.

This week, I watched as Elion used her 5 senses to discover the weather all around her! When she learned about sunshine, she got to feel the difference between hot and cold. Through water play, we set out two different water bowls one with ice water and one with warm water.  We then put the water outside and I asked her what would happen to the ice. I could see Elion thinking hard at what would happen. She new the ice would go away but she wanted to know why? I loved how she reached further with this project as she wanted to know more about the sun!

Later, Elion learned about dark and light! Learning time with sunshine had Elion hooked on learning about weather!

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With All About The Weather, you get this wonderful book entitled “Does a Bear Wear a Hat in the Winter?” I love this book and it is so cute for children. Does a Bear Wear a Hat in the Winter?teaches children about animals in the weather. I was so impressed with the quality and the illustrations were vivid! Elion loves this book! You can tell by the smile on her face in the picture.

As we learned about the wind this week, I took Elion for a walk just myself and her. As we walked, I asked her questions about the wind. What did she feel, what did she hear. When the wind blew harder, I asked her what she thought the wind tasted like. She thought for a little about her response, “nothing mommy, just cold.” For the indoor activity we tested the wind!

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Elion put foam shapes on her shape mat to form patterns. As we placed the shapes, I asked her if she could tell me what ones were rectangles! I was surprised to hear her never miss one. I owe that to the wonderful circle time with Mother Goose Time that we do each morning. This month the shape is the rectangle! Then we took turns blowing the shapes off the mat; as though it was the wind. I want to comment on the colors of the items we get in Mother Goose Time acitivites, as well as, the print outs. They are beautiful, colorful and they grab your child’s attention. They stand out for me as a mom. I love to see Elion excited with each project and learning activity or just writing her letters in her new journal!

Learning about clouds this week was her favorite. Elion loves to look at each shape in the clouds. So, the first thing I did was have her lay down at the park and look up at them. She asked so many questions and that got her so excited about learning!

Projects that we did together with Mother Goose Time:

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Clouds on the Cover – have your child discover cloud cover and the fog!

Spongy Clouds – learning about how clouds soak up the water and then it rains. This was so much fun my other children joined in! Elion would soak up the water with a sponge! Elion loves making a mess and what 4 year old doesn’t?  While she was doing this project I thought of all the wonderful things she was learning with Spongy Clouds!

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  • Imaginary Play-pretending the sponge was a cloud.
  • Scientic Reasoning- as she played with the sponge she predicted how the sponge would react to the water. She concluded it happened this way in the sky, as well.
  • Social Skills- because my other children wanted to play and there were only 3 sponges, I watched as Elion had to communicate who was in charge of the sponge next.

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Elion also competed a cloud sculpture

I cannot wait to spend tomorrow discovering snow with my daughter! I admit, I am giddy in the morning as a homeschooling mother that my 4 year old is so excited to start her day and learn. With Mother Goose Time, I have noticed a change in my daughter. She looks at the world in a different way. The hands on activities are wonderful, but the confidence that she is gaining is so important. Mother Goose Time is not just your average “curriculum” because they have your child in mind.

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Elion’s finished cloud sculpture! I am not sure that this will ever dry. She keeps wanting to wet the starch noodle and start over!

Thank you Mother Goose Time for an awesome week in learning!

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Apologia Educational Ministries iWitness **Review**

Apologia ReviewLooking for a historical account of the New Testament, Old Testament or Biblical Archaeology to have your child read? iWitness books by Apologia Educational Ministries are a wonderful addition to your life. I love history, as well as, biblical history! I was excited to have the opportunity to review 3 iWitness books by Apologia, Biblical Archaeology by Doug Powell, Old Testament by Doug Powell and New Testament by Doug Powell, (physical copies). All three books are soft cover with wonderfully illustrated pages. The length of each iWitness book is not long but gives you good historical facts without boring you or your child.

iWitness books by Apologia are meant for all different ages. If you are having your child read these book themselves, the recommended reading level is for ages 11 and up. Each book is priced at $14.00.

Our family started with iWitness Biblical Archaeology. As a family, I read this book as a read-a-loud to all of my children ages 4,7,9,11 and 12. Each child had their favorite parts of this particular book. My youngest enjoyed the pictures in the book. Along with illustrations, this book has writing instead of typed words to make it feel more like a hand written journal than a textbook or history book. Many of the pictures of people are placed like a scrapbook; therefore, this gave a fun feel to all the books! I read a little each day over the last few weeks. We completed all the books together as a family. Our 4-year-old, Elion, was very interested in the pictures. To keep her with us while we read these wonderful books, I printed out pictures of Jesus or other biblical figures for her to color while we read.

Apologia Review
iWitness Biblical Archaeology was my favorite out of all three books. I loved how author Doug Powell gave facts and comparisons. Author Powell does not express his personal opinion on the facts in this book. I loved this book because it is written as a historical account. Biblical Archeology was my favorite because of the subjects written about. When I was growing up, I had a fascination with the Shroud of Jesus, otherwise known as the Shroud of Turin. I was so excited to share the facts on this Shroud, as well as, all the other wonderful history. Biblical Archaeology will get your child’s mind intrigued with all the history within the bible.

The only idea that I did not agree with in the text was that the bible was not a history book. I personally believe the bible is a great history book, giving the life history of Jesus Christ himself.

Apologia Review

iWitness New Testament is a book that has you think and then conclude your own thoughts. Personally, I was afraid of reading this book with my children before reading the text myself. My faith, Latter Day Saint, many times, in books that go in depth about the New Testament, write things about my faith because they have no understanding of the LDS religion. I was impressed by the text in this book. Although I didn’t like it as much as Biblical Archeology, I still enjoyed reading it with my children. I was fascinated by the facts about the rejected books of the New Testament. This gives your child a look at ancient texts of the bible. My children loved looking at the writing and  wondering how anyone could translate those!

Apologia Review

iWitness Old Testament was my least favorite book to read with my children. I disagreed with the way some of this book was written by placing the prophets of the Old Testament in categories, such as, major or minor prophets. My thought is there can be no major/minor prophets and all prophets are called of Heavenly Father and to rank them in catagories I did not like. My children also struggled with this book; however, that could of just been because they were done with bibilical facts after a few books, but I doubt it. My son is currently reading the Old Testament. I was going to have him re-read this book at the end of his reading but quickly changed my mind after we finished this book.

Overall, I really liked these 3 iWitness books and I am looking forward to reading more by Apologia and author Doug Powell. I did notice in the back of the book that their are 2 new iWitness books coming in 2015! I cannot wait to read those books. I loved the knowledge that not only my children obtained from these books, but myself as well! I enjoyed the raw facts and accounts that were given in each book. These are a great addition to our homeschool/history shelves.

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Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks **Review**

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Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks is a wonderful read for a historical fiction fan. Year of Wonders is 308 pages, taking place in the year 1665 in a small village stricken with the plague. You can purchase Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague on Amazon and read the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Year of Wonders is a novel beautifully written by author Geraldine Brooks. Brooks writes Year of Wonders in a way that slides you from chapter to chapter, pulling you into the past. The first few chapters, are after the plague hit this small village, (year 1665-1666). Anna the main character of the story is reminiscing on her way to work as a housemaid for the village rector, Micheal Mompellion. Then the year changes to explain what happened with this small rural village before the wrath of the plague and during.

Anna the main character is a wonderful woman, strongly written. Anna is like a spider in a web she is quiet, goes about her work barely noticed by anyone until one day someone sees the spider for what it is worth. The spider eats the bugs in the home, helping the family, that family then knows what that spider is worth to them. Granted some want to kill the spider, but the helpful thing to do is let it live and help. Anna was not just a housemaid, she helped the village. Her strength carried the story, I wanted to have her strength. She is a beautiful character, although she grieves for her loss privately, you feel her pain as a mother and wife. Anna worked herself down to the bone when the plague struck this village, attending to the sick, helping with the children. Anna even mined to save an orphans claim, so that she could live. Anna over came her judgment of others, as well as, gained the ability to believe in herself.

Anna comes from a bad family, a father who shows his true colors when the deadly plague hits. Her father becomes the grave-digger of the village, however, he starts digging the graves before they are even dead. I could not imagine anything more horrific, while you lie in bed. The grave diggers shovel and dirt you hear outside your home, digging your eternal resting place before your death! YUCK!

Author Brooks, gives you pain, joy, and triumph. You are not only taken into the suffering of the plague, as well as, the strange side not many write about. You are taken into the joy that can come out of helping others and the friendships. Anna develops a friendship with the rectors wife, as they try their best to comfort and heal the suffering of the village. Elinor confides in Anna with secrets about her past, that in the time period could have dire consequences for Elinor, (especially as a rectors wife). I learned to love Elinor’s character in the story, she gave this book so much. As a rector’s wife you expect her to be prim and proper, that is not the case with Elinor. She loves to garden, gets her hands dirty in her herb garden. Yes, being a herb lover myself I was taken by her use of herbs for medicinal purposes to help the villagers. Elinor’s love for the gospel, her zest in life was intoxicating.

I was thrown from my reading seat at the end of this book, the last few chapters took this book in a totally different turn of events that I never imagined would come. Although I did not like the ending of this story, I was pleased with the way all the characters ended up. The characters were rich, you related to each one with empathy, respect or sadness.

Overall this book will be on my shelf for a re-read. My rating 4 out of 5 stars, because I did not like the ending. However, I think that it could be different for each person, as an entire book it was wonderful. Must read!

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Not According to Plan!

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I am not a planner by any means, well, I wasn’t one until I became a mother. However, I kind of had a plan mapped out in my head from the time I was little, (girls always do). Did everything go as planned for my life, no, of course it didn’t. So, why am I not embracing changes now that are not going according to MY plan? Recently, I have been so angered by things not going my way or my families way that I failed to stop and recognize the beauty of my plan versus Heavenly Father’s.

My Plan:

  • Never going to get married, yes that was my number one. I did not have a good example of marriage growing up, not just from my parents but from my older siblings as well.
  • Never going to have a child, I was young and selfish in life.
  • Never going to be controlled or told what to do, I felt I had enough of that in my younger life.
  • Never going to live in the state I live now, yes I visited the state I live in and did not like it at the age of 17.
  • Never going to join an “organized” religion, I was raised Wiccan so to join another religion would be wrong.
  • Never going to go to college, I struggled to get good grades even though I considered myself smart. Sitting in a classroom was a waste of time.

 

A Different Plan that changed my entire life:

I meant a wonderful man at a very young age, as friends we went out. Not on the pretense of anything else, (physical), somewhere along the way I could never imagine life without my best friend. We have been married 14 beautiful years. I cannot lie to you marriage is work not all fairy tales and roses, but I would never change it. My husband is kind and gentle, loving and beautiful inside. I was lucky I became his friend and eternal soul mate.

I stated I would never have a child, I watched children growing up. I was a great babysitter, however, I watched  how a parent can have the potential to be an awesome mother or father, and recklessly fail at parenting. I was afraid of failing, I didn’t think I had the skills to be a good mother to a child of my own. So not according to plan I was pregnant shortly after my husband and I got married, (5 months after). We lost that child, I was devastated by the loss. I became angry, at a God I never really spoke to, I cursed him for it. How dare he take away our baby what could this mean? How could God be so cruel, (more on that at the end of this post). Obviously, we ended up having 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls, I love being a mother. What a wonderful way to spend my life, how did I ever doubt that I would be a great mother. I am hard on myself, but I know that I am a great mother. Every mother learns and grows with each child, the key is to strive everyday to be the best mother you can be. Boy, that statement took me years to figure out!

I love the state I live in now, I said I never would, why? Because I cursed organized religion and in this state there are so many Mormons! I too am Mormon! I would never change that, I struggle with organized religion still, like I said before I don’t want to be controlled. However, I have a different feeling about organized religion now, nothing can control you, not even God himself. Everyone has their own will, the key is heeding to what the prophet says, reading the bible and discovering your relationship with Christ. Do things, pray for others because you want to, pray because you feel you need to and love one another because that is what Heavenly Father asks of you. Love your faith, live it don’t just go to church on Sunday and talk about it, LOVE IT!

No one is controlling me through religion, I have my own will and so do you. I know that because of my faith, the spirit dwells in my home. I love the anchor that God gives me and the rod to hold tight too. I joined the military at a young age, although I feel that I gained many problems because of what I saw and had to endure. I still would not take it back, because enduring that made me appreciate life and just being alive, because I saw so many die. I was controlled when I was in the military not doubt, you are told when to breathe, when to eat, when to look at someone. However, if I did not choose to serve my beloved country I would not be who I am today. I thank Heavenly Father for that, as well as, the friendships I have made and tears I have shed.

Because of my service I was able to go to college and better my life, with education. That knowledge that will never leave is priceless. No, I don’t work outside the home, I cannot I have tried. With the problems that I have from my military service, it is not possible for me. I like having knowledge through life and schooling that I can pass down to my children.

When we lost our first child, things were not going according to my plan and I was angry. Some will say, anger eats your heart, you are not supposed to be angry. I belive anger is good, express it, get it out, (in a good way of course), you need to be true to your emotions. I was mad, I yelled at God in not understanding what was happening to us. In my anger, after some time I felt comfort. I was brought to understand that I would be with our son in Heaven, I was brought closer to Christ, I could feel his love for me, for my husband. That love drew me closer, that loss, made me a better mother, made me a better person and wife. Gave hope to something I never knew before, and eventually brought me to the LDS church.

Anger is an emotion that even Christ expressed in the bible. I am not ashamed of my anger, I need to know how to use my anger to grow in Heavenly Father’s love. Being human is a beautiful, wonderful gift. It means I will fall, I just have to chose to get back up with dignity! With the knowledge that I am not alone on this journey.

As I think of recent events in my life and dwell on the fact that they are not according to plan, my plan. I try to remind myself of all the wonderful blessings that have come from a different plan, like our 5th child. Or, being a cancer survivor, having a family that loves me and a husband that would go to the end of the earth for us. Having my family sealed for time and all eternity!

Of course, I have still prayed for comfort and of course, it is normal for me to feel sadness or helplessness. Instead of turning to blame, I have decided to raise up my arms and rejoice, embrace life with a life that does not go according to my plan!

 


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Mother Goose Time **Learning Outside the Box**

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Mother Goose Time arrives at your home in a beautiful, exciting box that your child will love! However, even though Mother Goose Time may be shipped to you in a box, the learning is outside the box. When our Mother Goose Time arrived this week, Elion (my 4 year old) was so excited. What child would not love to see a box just for them with a giant school bus on the front!

Mother Goose Time is for ages 4-6 years old. Elion started pre-school this year and she is off and running with the first themed box this month, Weather All Around Us! We started with the Welcome kit and I had Elion help me set up her classroom area. We had a area of the house completely bare that made the perfect spot for Elion to learn!

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The welcome kit is full of wonderful resources to set up for your little one, making it theirs! What stood out to Elion as she helped me put everything up (we used masking tape to place on the wall) was the ABC flip cards. Elion was so excited to start reading. She loves books. The ABC flip cards are wonderful and I could instantly see all the wonderful resources Mother Goose Time had given us.

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Since the theme this month for MGT is Weather All Around Us, Elion had a weather basket that she put up with weather cards. Already, Elion runs over to the window every morning and checks the weather and goes to get her weather card. “Look mommy, today has clouds.” We are only a week into this fabulous MGT and I see her excitement for learning the weather!

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I could not be any happier with seeing Elion’s excitement everyday from learning. With Mother Goose Time, every month there is a new themed box that shows up right to your door and you get to set up your classroom like Elion and I did, the first time with the welcome kit. Plus, I highly suggest letting your child help and have say on where things go. I loved how Elion made her area with MGT hers. You are going to jump right into this wonderful curriculum. The set up is so easy and each day comes bagged and ready for you to open. This creates no confusion on which item your child will be learning about. You are given a teachers guide, as well as, a planning journal to help you in all the lessons each day. I suggest reading the introduction in the planning guide first and then the first day (week 1 day 1). Also, I opened the day to read everything through, looking over the activity that we are suppose to do the following day. There is no guess work. Mother Goose Time even gives you a list of items that you will need. LOVE IT!

Every Month your child will love to have a country flag and sticker. For October, our country is Sweden! I thought of planning a meal that Elion can help me with that is from Sweden. For 4 years old, she loves to get her hands into everything. As we did the first few days of Mother Goose Time, I thought about what Elion learns when she is doing the fun, educational projects. I wanted to focus on what she was learning while doing it and not just the end of the project.

Some of the things Elion learned this week, while making a Night and Day Earth.

  • Sensory-painting the plate with her fingers
  • Fine Motor Skills -She cut the green pieces of paper that represent earth into little rectangles. They were so small that she had to use plastic science tweezers to glue them to the plate.
  • Listening Skills- Elion had to listen to my directions because this was a project she had never done

At the end when her plate dried and all the finishing touches were on it, Elion had a huge sense of accomplishment.

Mother Goose Time is a wonderful addition into our homeschooling home (great for your home or preschool classroom). We are excited to start this year with Mother Goose Time, however,  our journey has just begun. Therefore, we cannot wait to share more with our readers about all the wonderful benefits, surprises, and learning fun we are going to have. Preschool is so much fun. I love this stage of learning. Being a mother is so rewarding. I have a wonderful opportunity to be my child’s teacher and watching her grow and learn everyday. Thank you Mother Goose Time for putting a smile on my daughters face every day!

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Come Back Dear Sun Your Friends, Kaylee, Mattie, Lilly and Fran by Geena Bean, Illustrated by Cheri Webber **Review and Giveaway**

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Come Back Dear Sun by Geena Bean is a wonderful children’s book that tells children how important it is to play outside, getting away from being idle. This is a wonderfully positive book, that children will love to read over and over. I read Come Back Dear Sun to my daughter, Elion, who is 4 years of age, as well as, my son Hubble, who is 7. Both of them liked this story. Come Back Dear Sun is an easy read at 36 pages, making it a great bedtime book. A  good quality softcover children’s book, that is also available as a downloadable e-book. We received a complementary copy of Come Back Dear Sun by Geena Bean for review, to share our thoughts with our awesome readers!

In the book, (Come Back Dear Sun), children think of a way to get the sun back, after talking to the moon. The children realize that the sun left because she felt as though, she was not needed anymore. Everyone stayed inside to play, so the sun went away. Four little girls go on an adventure to tell the sun they want her back. The girls miss going out in the sunshine, no more dark days, they want to play again in the suns rays. When the sun comes back, she is so happy because everyone loves to be outside in her rays again!

Come Back Dear Sun will make your children think about what it is to have the sun. How lucky we are to play outside, with light, fresh air, and beautiful earth. The illustrations are wonderful, vivid, colorful, capturing children’s attention.

Our daughter Elion loves to sit down in my lap and read this book again and again!

Enter the giveaway below: Giveaway Ends October 17th, and I will notify the winner a few days after. Thank you
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Can’t Wait for the Giveaway Too End Purchase your Copy Come Back Dear Sun


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A Series of Unfortunate Events (The Bad Beginning) by Lemony Snicket **Review**

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A Series of Unfortunate Events, is a book we have all heard about. However, our family has never seen the movie or picked up this glorious series to read until this last month! I was surprised at how much we adored the first book The  Bad Beginning in this series. When you begin this book, you start a journey with 3 little children Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. In a tragic event, (not the last one), in the story all three children become orphans. Quickly the children are given to Count Olaf, a distant relative, for the Count to raise them. However, like in the title of the book the children experience many unfortunate events.

My children and I enjoyed this book, entirely. From the very start author Lemony Snicket pulls you into this wonderful story of sadness. The children’s characters were so interesting, Violet the oldest child at the age of 14, loves to invent things. Her wonderful inventing skills come in handy throughout the entire story. Violet is a quick thinker, smart, and so caring of her siblings. I enjoyed the children together, giving my children wonderful examples of how to work together and get along. Klaus is the reader in this story, through knowledge he has gained in reading books; he is so wonderful at breaking through Count Olaf’s evil plan. However, Klaus may have book sense, he lacks common sense when dealing with situations. My children could not get enough of Sunny the smallest of the Baudelaire orphans, she is the cutest character. Written by author Snicket with such humor, Sunny is a child that loves to bite things! My family had a wonderful time talking about what Sunny was going to bite next!

There was not one thing that I did not like as I read The Bad Beginning. I despised Count Olaf for his treatment of the children. I loved how he was written, and cannot wait to watch the movie to see how his character is portrayed on-screen. That should be fun! Mr. Poe, is the children’s financial keeper, I believe also, the executor of the Baudelaire’s parents will. Mr. Poe is one of those characters you want to reach into the book and grab him, to shake some sense into him! For being a financial banker, Mr. Poe, is a stupid man at his best. In the story the children try to out Count Olaf to him, letting Mr. Poe know about the horrible things that are happening to them at the hands of Olaf! Mr. Poe dismisses the children, then finds later that Count Olaf is a horrible guardian! ERRRRR

I love that my children want to keep going in this series, we are currently reading the 2nd book in The Series of Unfortunate Events (Reptile Room). If you are interested in starting the second book without reading the first, you could do that. This is one of those series that you can just jump into and start reading any number in my opinion.

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars- The Bad Beginning, makes you laugh, makes you want to reach out to the children and help. Beautifully written with so much thought behind each character! A must for you’re at home library!

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The Trouble Begins: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-3 (The Bad Beginning; The Reptile Room; The Wide Window)

 

 

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