Sunday, February 28, 2016

Feel young again, Naturally, with Valentia {Review}

Valentia is back, and better than ever with their new True Glow Eye Cream! I've reviewed Valentia products in the past and they certainly don't disappoint. I have other facial creams and cleansers lining my dresser but nothing compares to Valentia. Two specific qualities make Valentia stand out from the rest. First and foremost, the texture. The true glow eye cream is thick and smooth. This makes it easy to apply. Secondly, the scent. Seriously, once you try these products you won't want to go back because of the scent alone! It's fruity, fun and refreshing. It's not strong but pleasant and soothing. 

The cream uses natural ingredients including, astaxanthin which smooths fine lines and wrinkles, and restores elasticity to the skin.
It also has resistem, vitamin C, organic rosehip oil and arnica which works to diminish the appearance of dark circles.

Yes, I am an older homeschool mom (not too far of from being over the hill,) with a growing family. Sure, there are days that I am tired but I certainly don't want my face to show it! I am determined not to be one of those moms that appear tired and miserable. Bags under the eyes certainly give that impression. Even if you're as chipper as a chipmunk if you have obvious bags under the eyes, you're pegged as overworked, overtired and worn down. I've been applying Valentia True Glow Eye Cream for several weeks now and have noticed a slight improvement in the appearance of under my eyes. I still need to cover under my eyes with foundation if I am going out, but they certainly aren't as dark and puffy as before! I applied once daily, and it quickly became a part of my morning routine.

Another awesome product by Valentia is their Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask. In the same fashion as a mud mask, the hydration mask uses ingredients from nature including a silk protein amino acid blend, botanical hyaluronic acid, organic sea buckthorn oil, Japanese green tea, and aloe vera. This product requires you to leave it on your face for15-30 minutes. Since this is made of natural ingredients that isn't a problem for most people. Unfortunately for me though, I am caffeine intolerant. I am affected by even the slightest amount, even through the skin so having this product, which is made with green tea, on my skin for an extended period of time is not wise. 

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Brandbacker. All opinions stated here are my own.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Ministry of Motherhood

Motherhood has its joys. The first time your newborn smiles at you. The moment she finally reads her favorite storybook to you, after you’ve recited it time after time to get her to fall asleep at night. The drawing you proudly hang on the fridge for all to enjoy. What about the difficulties? Read More at Our Homeschool Forum

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Homeschooling Perks

If you’re new to homeschooling, then it’s possible that fears, doubts and questions are still swirling around in your mind. Ok. Even if you’ve been doing this for some time, you still aren’t immune to the occasional mental struggle. READ MORE AT OUR HOMESCHOOL FORUM

Monday, February 15, 2016

Tesoro Metal Dectector {Review & Giveaway}

What do you get a nine year old for his birthday? Toys have become babyish. Gaming systems and  tablets are too consuming and addicting. In our home, we encourage hobbies that involve the outdoors or that are lucrative. We don't do allowances in our home. It might work well as a motivator in some families but we have chosen to allow our children to find opportunities outside of their chores to make money. I have noticed that my oldest is very careful how he spends his money. I am convinced that it is because a majority of the money he has in his wallet is his own hard earned cash. 

One of the ways that he adds cash to his pockets is by scrapping metal. He used to help his dad and get paid a portion of the profit. Now, he will tear apart old televisions on his own and get the money for the metal, himself. Needless to say, when he received a Tesoro Metal Detector for his birthday the first thing out of his mouth was, "am I dreaming?!" He was beyond excited. He kept telling us that this was the best birthday gift, ever! He dreams of finding jars of gold hidden by a tree or old coins worth a fortune.

My husband was skeptical about the Tesoro Metal Detector. He wasn't convinced that it was going to do anything but find us pull tabs and nails since this metal detector is fairly inexpensive. Fortunately, he was proven wrong! After the first couple of times taking our son out in the backyard, he was pleasantly surprised at how deep it could pick up a signal. We still have plenty of ground to cover on our own property but we look forward to taking it to local lakes, the ocean and other sites nearby.

He and our boys were outside for over an hour the first time they used it and enjoyed every minute of it. Pictured below are some of the finds from the first two hunts with the Tesoro Metal Detector.

In addition to large chunks of random metal and a stake for tying out goats that we've been missing for a while, my son found some tweezers, a dog collar buckle and eleven cents. He was happy with his finds!

The Tesoro metal dectector that we got was the Compadre model which sells for a reasonable $189. Tesoro products are made in the USA and have a LIFETIME GUARANTEE! When you order your metal detector you will receive a list of things that the lifetime guarantee does not cover. This includes obvious misuse or if you attempt to modify it. Honestly though, for the average person, you really wouldn't even need to try to modify it (if you knew what you were doing!) because it works really well! If you are looking for a stronger model that you want to use under water or in all terrian situations then be sure to check out their website for more Tesoro models.

It runs on a 9V battery and is perfect for a beginner but also enjoyable for a seasoned treasure hunter. It is simple to use and is easy to find small targets with it. Once my husband taught my son the ins and outs of the detector and showed him how to care for it, he was then able to go out on our property on his own with it. The discrimination for different metals is quite accurate which makes it easy and fun for kids and adults alike. The entire detector cannot be submerged in water but coil can if you are searching for treasure in shallow waters. 

The whole family has been entertained with this detector. They have enjoyed going out and searching, digging and cleaning up their finds. Even if it's only an old soda can they find, they feel proud that they can help clean up the property. Next on the agenda; using our GPS and metal detector to find the stakes that show us where the boundries are on our property! Up until now we've only had a basic idea but now with the new map skills learned in our homeschool and the metal detector, we can be certain once and for all!

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Disclaimer: Thanks to Tesoro for the above products for the purpose of this review. All opinions stated here are my own.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Blue Ribbon Trail Ride by Miralee Ferrell (Book Review)

Purchase a Copy
Thirteen-year old Kate and her friends came up with the perfect way to raise money for her autistic younger brother and others to attend summer camp- a horse scavenger hunt! 
As local businesses donate money and prizes, Kate keeps the entry fees in her mom's antique jewelry box.

But when the box and the money disappear, Kate and her friends must unravel the clues, hold on to hope, and solve the mystery along the Blue Ribbon Trail Ride. 

My Thoughts

Blue Ribbon Trail Ride is the fourth book in Miralee Ferrell's series, Horses and Friends. This is the first book of the series that I have read and can easily be enjoyed without having been introduced to the characters prior to reading this one. The author does allude to previous events which tended to pique my curiosity and made me wish I started from the beginning of the series! 

Now that my oldest two are reading on their own, and actually enjoy it, I have been scrambling to find book series that I think they might enjoy. Clearly girly babysitting series that I read as a kid certainly isn't going to cut it for my boys. Recently, we tried The Hardy Boys and my boys loved it. There was a problem though. There is constant lying and violence. I appreciated the story line and challenging vocabulary but when it comes down to it, the stories simply do not promote Christian morals. 
Fortunately, the Horses and Friends Series does promote these values. Several times throughout the story, the children's faith and trust in God is clearly expressed.

I read this book aloud to my children and at first my boys were not amused. They were afraid this story would be too girly. Of course my horse loving daughter was thrilled and excited to listen to a fun horse story that she could enjoy. Interestingly enough, as soon as my boys realized though that there was a mystery involved in the story, they were on the edge of their seats. There were even a few days they would beg me to read another chapter because the cliff hanger at the end of the chapter was bugging them like crazy! They just had to know what was going to happen next. 

Boys and girls alike will enjoy this series but it clearly is written with the pre-teen girl in mind. The story is written in a way that a young girl can both relate and be challenged in her faith. If you are looking for a wholesome series that promote good morals and godly examples for your daughter (and maybe her brothers!) then I recommend trying out this series.

Miralee Ferrell is the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels. She and her husband live along the Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington State, where she enjoys riding the wooded trails and spending time with her grown children. In addition to horses and dogs, Miralee once owned two cougars.

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Disclaimer: Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All opinions stated here are my own.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Repurposing Trash for your Homeschool

Don’t worry. I’m not suggesting you start stockpiling your house with trash! Instead, I look at it as killing two birds with one stone. READ MORE AT OUR HOMESCHOOL FORUM

Thursday, February 4, 2016

{FREE} Adorable Animal Valentines

Plan a Family Game Night

This past labor day our family went out for Mexican. This is a rare occurrence for us, so the kids savored every minute. I held the newborn while the older kids munched on tortilla chips. They dipped them in variety of spicy sauces while we waited for our meals. We laughed as my daughter confidently tried a spicy sauce, determined to like it, only to down half of her water after her first (and only) bite. Once served, we began sampling each others plates, testing the variety of goodies that lay before us. We talked, we ate, and we enjoyed each others company. 

Then, I looked around at the other booths in the restaurant only to see practically everyone and their grandmother scrolling on their smart phones. I kid you not. First, I spotted three college kids sitting at a table together. All three of them, two boys and a girl were gazing at their phones while waiting for their food. 

Behind them was an older couple, probably old enough to be their parent's age. The woman was on her phone while the man finished up his meal. 

As we walked out the door, I looked and saw a family with kids and yes, one of the kids was on a device playing a game to pass the time. 

I know I am not miss social butterfly or anything but I will say that sometimes I feel like I am in the twilight zone when I look around at everyone glued to their phones. Are our children going to grow up to be so social awkward that they can't even look up from their phones and look someone in the eye to order food? Will they be too afraid to go the the post office to mail a package or interact with someone at a grocery store? How can we teach them not hide their lights under a bushel when we allow them to hide behind their phones or devices?

It begins with us. We need to train them. We need to train our children to have conversations with one another. We need to allow them to interact with one another and come up with conflict resolutions on their own. At first, while young, we help them. As they grow older, they then need to deal with their own selfish desires in a safe environment. 

What better way to do this than by providing opportunities within our own home? One way we encourage family interaction is by having game nights. Once in a while we will set aside an hour or two, when everyone is home and determine to start, and finish a game. It teaches kids patience. It teaches them how to handle disappointment if they don't win and how to be a good winner if they do win. It teaches them to follow rules and so much more. 
It doesn't matter so much what the game is as it does who the game is played with. Our kids love the quality time spent with their parents when we plan to have a game night. They know that we won't be busy texting or emailing people but wholeheartedly spending time with them.

Looking for some fun family games? Check out Rainbow Resource Center for ideas! 

Forbidden Island Game

Kingdom Builder Game

Qwirkle Trio

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Rainbow Resource Center. All opinions stated here are my own.

30 Classic Outdoor Activities For Boys

Regardless of the season, boys will have energy. Even if the sun isn’t shining or it may be sprinkling, consider planning outdoor activities that your boys can look forward to at the end of their homeschool day... READ MORE AT OUR HOMESCHOOL FORUM