Sunday, October 22, 2017

Finding Matchbox Cars... With A Metal Detector!

Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains has certainly changed me. My lifestyle, goals, daily habits and forms of entertainment are dramatically different. Growing up in the suburbs led me to visiting a mall weekly, coffee shop bi-weekly and a hike in the woods once every, lets say, five years! Now, all I have to do is step outside and the woods await. I go half a mile and a mountainous view is begging to be enjoyed. Life is different. Good, different and I am so thankful that I am able to raise my kids here, like this.

One hobby that my older ones have really taken to is metal detecting. Homeschool nerds to the max, right?

We first started out with a White's and then had an opportunity to review a Tesoro, you can read my Tesoro Review Here. My boys have found piles of goodies with this detector and love it. One of my son now has a Garrett, but my oldest still uses his trusty Tesoro with great success. 

Every find, has a story. My kids love trying to figure out what that story is. Sure, they may not have landed any Confederate gold yet but that certainly isn't for a lack of trying. It isn't too far fetched considering we live in Virginia- a prime candidate for Civil War relics for sure. So, it's a goal, to find pieces from that era, but until they make that discovery, they are enjoying the thrill of the hunt!

Two of my sons and now even my daughter, have a pile of goodies that they have found on their dresser. I'm thinking we are going to have to do something about that though because at this rate they are racking up their finds! 

Here's a picture that my oldest took of what he found during one afternoon of metal detecting last week:

(Note To Self: I need to remind him to turn off the time/date stamp!)

Well, he found all of the above during one of his digs last week. Looks like he hit the jackpot on old matchbox cars! I do believe a young boy lived in this house years ago so my son must have found his play area in the woods! I wonder if any other goodies are laying around there! The most interesting find was the stainless steel kitchen utensil. I am not sure what exactly it is used for, any ideas?

This post is linked to the following link-up (s)

Homeschool Coffee Break

Thursday, October 19, 2017

God Gave Us Family (Review)

Little Pup’s wolf family is on their way to a special reunion—with lots of cousins, games, roasting marshmallows, and fun! As the young wolf thinks about different kinds of families, it’s the perfect opportunity for Mama and Papa to teach their inquisitive child about the families that God brings together. Some families are big and others are small, some are led by grandparents or just one parent, and some families include adopted little ones– yet each family is truly special. 
Even the members of Little Pup’s pack make up an important role in his family, although they sometimes pester him. Papa gently reminds his son…
“We need to love the family God gave us.”
Honestly, this book was not what I was expecting. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, and not in a good way. I kept wondering when a bombshell would be dropped and the author would begin promoting same-sex marriage or something of the sort. She never did, thank God but I wasn't quite sure where the book was headed when she started talking about different types of families. Families with eight children as opposed to a single child family home. Families with parents who are divorced and families where the children are raised by the grandparents. These types of families are all around us and we do need to have these conversations with our child, as we have in our home, but it just seems oddly presented in this children's book. Almost a bit pushy. If the message and the theme of "different types of families" would have been toned down a bit, it might be a more enjoyable read.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

When Your World Is Rocked

What do you do when you find out something you have always believed, is in fact, not true? A tidbit learned from your history teacher in high school or a doctrine you were taught in church. 

Most of us have experienced this in one way or another. 

Were you raised believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy? How about the Easter Bunny?

I was.

I still remember reading a book up in my bedroom in third grade. The main character stated that there was no such thing as Santa Claus. I was devastated. (I still can't believe that in third grade I STILL believed in Santa!) Nevertheless, when I found out, I ran downstairs in hopes that my mom would tell me that in fact Santa was real. That the book was lying and that my trusted mother would set the record straight.


The truth came out. I kind of had a feeling that it was the case but secretly hoped that Santa was real. 

Of course I was told not to tell my little sister who wasn't even school aged yet, so I felt all grown up and more mature all of a sudden with this new found knowledge.

What do we do when we are given new knowledge that rocks the way that we have thought in our adult lives? Do we refuse to accept it, do we research the facts or do we jump on board because the teaching is new, revolutionary and exciting? 

It is easy to get defensive when it challenges everything we have known but if it is not based in the truth we need to be careful. 

For example, did George Washington really chop down his father's cherry tree or did a pastor make the story up for a simple object lesson in a sermon?

Was Christopher Columbus really a Christian or was the Catholic church just trying to promote their religion by rewriting his lost journals?

Was Cassie Burnell really asked if she was a Christian by her killer moments before she was shot in the library of Columbine High School or was this just a story made up to promote evangelical Christianity?

I am not trying to be critical but all of these examples are stories  we have been told. How do we know if they are true and what would we do and how would we react if they, in fact are not true? 

I'm simply trying to make a point. 

It is possible that there are things that we believe that are not true. If you are a Christian, as I am, then you know what I mean. Before you were saved you thought one way. Once you become a Christian, your world view changed. You now look at the world from a Biblical perspective. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth, and He does, but if we are led into the truth then we must then leave behind the lies. We can't believe both. 

My encouragement for you this week is to hold fast to the truth. To seek the truth. Biblical truth, and allow your viewpoints about yourself, your family, the world, your health and everything else line up in accordance to the Word of God!

Draw 50: Outer Space (Review)

Part of the best-selling Draw 50 series this step-by-step guide to sketching and rendering astronauts, planets, asteroids, comets, spaceships, space stations, and other elements related to outer space exploration is for artists of all levels.

In this new installment of Lee J. Ames’s beloved Draw 50 series, readers will find easy-to-follow, step-by-step lessons for outer space drawing. In each lesson, six wordless steps provide everything needed to master drawing all kinds of planets, moons, comets, and meteors, as well as astronauts, rockets, spaceships, and other aspects–both natural and man made–related to charting the cosmos.

We will be starting an astronomy series soon in our homeschool so I thought this book would be perfect for my older boys. Both love to draw. Some kids thrive on creating their own creations while others, such as my eldest son, thrives off of "how to draw" books such as this one. He loves to learn how to draw new objects and surprisingly takes what he earns and then includes it in his future doodles. He is a quick learner and an excellent artist, this is the perfect book for him! 

Disclaimer: This book was received by Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Photographs From The Edge

Obsessed with photography? Travel? Beauty? Then Photographs From The Edge by Art Wolfe is just what your coffee table needs. Learn from expert photographers Art Wolfe and Rob Sheppard who have captured the perfect moments all across the globe. I got this book for my ten year old son who is an aspiring photographer. He has an amazing eye for beauty and attempts to capture the beauty of God's creation wherever we go. I had hoped that this book would inspire and educate him in the world of photography and I was not disappointed. The images are vivid. The shots are creative and the write-ups are informative. This would be a perfect coffee table conversation piece or a gift for the photographer in your life. I also appreciated this book simply because I love to travel and this opens your eyes to different parts of the world. This is obviously geared towards adults but would work for teens or college kids as well.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Chores For Kids

It's official.

I am a mom of a large family.

I guess it depends on who you ask when you try to judge whether you have a large family or not.

I go by whether or not my whole family can fit in a four-door sedan.
That ended when baby number four entered the picture.

Of course, if I could have found a sedan with three seats in the front instead of a goofy cup holder in the middle...
they just don't make cars like they used to.

Once the sedan was out, we could choose between a van or one of those really cool Volvo station wagons with the seats in the trunk that fold up and face backwards. Super fun, but impractical when it comes to grocery shopping or packing for family vacations to the beach.

So, here we are. A family of six with another on the way so when planning ahead I need to remember we will be a family of seven!

Considering I grew up with only one sibling, in my mind, yes, we are a large family.

I am reminded of this constantly in several areas of my life but two seem to stand out above the rest.

1- When I am Shopping. For food. Or clothes for the kids. Or anything really.

2- When Doing Laundry. Especially when I am pregnant. Sick and exhausted and the piles pretty much reach the ceiling!

Since these two chores, shopping and laundry, seem to stress me out more than the rest, I learned to have these chores set as first priority with not only myself, but the children.

Each week a child has a different "zone" or section of the home that they are responsible for. If it is the "kitchen zone" then they are in charge of loading and unloading the dishwasher once a day, putting away the leftovers and wiping down the counters. This teaches them responsibility while not putting the entire load on them. Sometimes we need to run the dishwasher more than once a day so they aren't responsible for every single load. They also aren't expected to scrub the pots and pans. This system works well for us and helps things run smoothly in our home.

Another zone is the "laundry zone." When a child has this job they are responsible for putting a load in the wash and dryer once a day. I do the folding and wash delicate items and cloth diapers but my three older children (ages 6-10) all know how to run a washer and dryer. The laundry has already been separated into lights, darks and towels and they have learned which setting each load needs to be washed on.  

If you are wondering what jobs your child can handle, you are asking yourself the wrong question. Ask what needs to be done and figure out how they can help in that area. They might not be able to deep clean a bathroom but they can wipe down the sink. Be creative and give them responsibilities they can feel good about. Ones that will make them feel like they are a part of the family and helping the good of the whole. The younger you start them out, the less complaining you'll see as they get older!

Need Some Motivating Resources?
Check These Out:

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Rainbow Resource Center.
Image courtesy of Tuomas_Lehtinen at

Friday, January 6, 2017

Travel The World Through Literature

Some people are addicted to their smart phones. Others, it's video games. Some, it's binge watching their favorite shows online. Me? I'll admit it, my addiction is traveling. Maybe not so much anymore but there certainly was a time where I had the bug, to go, go, go. After I had traveled once, I was hooked, and wanted more. By the time I had graduated High School I had already crossed the pond three times to visit Europe, once I hit college it was several more. Needless to say, once I was out of school any chance that I had to travel, I took it.

As a homeschool mom, it is my desire to instill this love for other cultures and people within my children. Yes, America is a wonderful and blessed nation and I am thankful for American citizenship and what that means but I never want me or my family to be so self-centered that we think that because we are American we are better than anyone else. Having that mentality is harmful when reaching out to anyone, especially those in cultures that you might not understand.

Sharing literature with my children that highlight other nations and cultures is a powerful way to open up a whole new world to them. It allows them to see the world through someone else's eyes. It helps them to see that there are both similarities and differences between the children on these cultures and their own lives.

Here is a list of some books that you can introduce to your children that will get them excited about other cultures!

Tales From Africa
Mary Slessor: Courage in Africa
Answering The Call
Beduins Gazelle
With Kitchener in the Soudan

Penguins and Antarctica (Magic Tree House Guide)
Arctic and Antarctica
Antarctica (Rookie Read-About Geography)

Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes
Hidden Army: Clay Soldiers of Ancient China
Echoes of the White Giraffe


Switherby Pilgrims: Tale of the Australian Bush
Battle Order 204
Red Sand, Blue Sky

The Wheel on the School
St. George for England
The Glorious Flight

Great Kapok Tree: Instructional Guides for Literature
Out of Many Waters
A Way Beyond Death
Adventures of Don Quixote

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by The Rainbow Resource Center. All thoughts expressed here are my own.