Sunday, April 22, 2012

MUSC Here We Come!


A few weeks ago Laycie was having a few strange things going on that led to a call to her neuro.  The symptoms she was having could be related either to her seizures or her medicine but it was enough to concern me after a long period of watching to see what happened next.

The neuro told us that we could not raise her medicine dosage any more.  She decided that she would like to test Laycie for a longer period than normal with an overnight EEG and sleep study.  I was more than willing to agree.

So this week Laycie, Daddy and I are off to the Children's Hospital at MUSC in Charleston to spend the week.  Grandma will be home with Bubba and MiMi, keeping things going while we are away.  Honestly, you'd think we are going on vacation with the amount of luggage we have ready to go: clothes, medicine, private needs, toys, movies, and more.  It takes a lot to keep a 4 year old busy during a 3-5 day hospital stay in a room that she cannot leave without a tech to accompany her.

Josh has to take off work to accompany us on our journey.  His bosses are not thrilled with this but he knows Laycie and I both need him there.  Being 5 months pregnant doesn't make this trip any easier on me and being alone with a tired and sometimes very sick Momma doesn't do Laycie any good either.  Needless to say, we are both happy to have Daddy going along with us.

So tonight we have packed and are ready to go.  The kids are asleep and we are soon to follow.  Tomorrow we wait until we get the call saying our room is ready and then we will head off on our week-long journey in an effort to overcome our battle with Epilepsy.

What are your plans for this week??

Review: Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart

Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart


When I read the summary of Sunrise on the Battery and learned that it was written about our local Charleston, South Carolina, I was excited to read and review it.  I was not disappointed.  Painting beautiful scenes of Charleston's antiquity, Beth Webb Hart provides a beautifully, inspirational story about a woman who is looking for a change in her life, her family and her faith.

Mary Lynn Scoville is living the life that many dream of but few can obtain.  This wife and mother of two beautiful, yet completely different daughters finds an emptiness in her soul that she is unable to fulfill.  A surprise encounter changes Mary Lynn's life and she longs to share it with her husband, Jackson, but he turned his back on God long ago.

On Christmas Eve, Mary Lynn asks God to create a change in her husband which eventually does come true, though not in the way Mary Lynn has been hoping.  As her husband becomes a strong evangelist for God's purpose, Mary Lynn feels even more isolated and lonely in her faith.  As their life changes, Mary Lynn wonders if their marriage will survive the new changes or if this new life is everything they could have ever dreamed of.

Sunrise on the Battery is available at Amazon for $11.38 and is a must-read for every lover of a Southern Faith novel!

*Disclaimer - this book was provided free for review from Booksneeze.com.  No money was exchanged in the process of this review and the review company asked for my honest opinion of the book in exchange.


I review for BookSneeze®

Review: The Woodcarver


The Woodcarver staring John Ratzenberger is a Faith and Family Film about rebuilding each other's faith in life.   Fifteen year old Matthew Stevenson made a destructive choice in order to get attention when rebelling against his parents and their broken home.  Vandalizing the church his father is renovating seems the only way to get back at them.  In order to avoid criminal charges, he works to repair the damage he caused and finds himself working with Ernest Otto (John Ratzenberger), the talented, reclusive woodworker.  Forming an unlikely friendship the two come to realized that all things are indeed possible through faith, family and friendship.

The Woodcarver is available on DVD at ChristianCinema.com for $10.92 and is yet another wonderful movie that will change your family forever.

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it 
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally 
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance 
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the 
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: A Mile In His Shoes

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Thomas Kinkade Presents: A Mile In His Shoes staring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder presents the true story that celebrates faith, determination and the power of friendship, A Mile In His Shoes is not a movie to be missed.  This movie is now available at Walmart and on Amazon.com for around $9.96.  The movie trailer can be viewed at www.amileinhisshoesmovie.com.

Only a miracle can help this losing Minor League baseball team lead by "Murph" Murphy (Dean Cain).  Searching for recruits of new talent for his team, Murph finds Mickey (Luke Schroder).  Mickey is a young farmer that has an incredible pitchers arm.  Mickey's parents really don't want him to join the team because of he has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.  Murph convinces Mickey's parents to allow him to join the team, not knowing just how much Mickey will change his team or their spirits.

This is a movie you won't soon forget!  I know it was one we were glad to add into our families collection!  For more information, visit A Mile In His Shoes on Facebook.  To see additional videos for A Mile In His Shoes visit YouTube!  


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Watch the World Premiere of A Mile In His Shoes on GMC on Monday, September 26 at 9pm!


 “Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it 
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally 
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance 
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the 
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

TOS Review: Amazing Science! Vol 1


Learn the principles of science with Amazing Science Videos from ScienceandMath.com.  This 2 disk collection provides extensive explanation of many fun, interesting experiments for elementary aged students.  A total of 23 varied experiments are presented on Amazing Science! Volume 1.

Some of our favorites were Color Changing Milk where Jason Gibson from ScienceandMath.com explains how to change milk with food coloring.  The Lemon battery experiment was another favorite that my children were excited to see in action.  Jason used lemons and two types of metal to show how batteries work, using the lemons to work a small calculator.  Lift an Ice Cube with String was an experiment that we personally gave a try though we did not have luck making the ice stick to the string with salt.  We did enjoy seeing it done on video and will try it again at a later time.



We look forward to trying out a few more of the many presented experiments shown by Jason Gibson from ScienceandMath.com in our future lessons.  This video series is a great addition for any science program showing extensive, yet simple experiments that any family can do.  We surely will be purchasing more of these videos to use in our own curriculum at home and at $19.99 it's a great price for any homeschooling family to invest!

To read more reviews of Amazing Science! please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.  For more information about Amazing Science! and other videos like it, please visit ScienceandMath.com.

*Disclaimer - This video was provided free for review by ScienceandMath.com and the TOS Homeschool Crew!


TOS Review: God's Great Covenant


God's Great Covenant is a bible course for children covering the New Testament: The Gospels.   This curriculum from Classical Academic Press, written by Claire A. Larsen, provides a strong foundation allowing children to follow the life of Jesus from birth through his fulfillment of God's promises to all.  Written for students in grades 4 and up, this curriculum provides a thorough explanation of his unexpected arrival to his ending suffering for our sins.

This curriculum begins with several introductions showing the Historical, Political, Chronological, Geographical, Religious and Daily Life of the time period for The Gospels.  4 units are divided into 36 chapters that show each aspect of Jesus's life.  At the end of each unit a memory passage, devotional guide and Simon's World explanation is provided for unit review.  Appendices at the end of the book provide examples of the fulfillment of God's prophecies, Jesus life as a Prophet, Priest and King, and the Lord's Prayer as well as chapter quizzes.  Maps are also provided at the end of the student book for use throughout the curriculum.  God's Great Covenant also provides a thorough Teacher's Guide, with thorough explanations of the course work, plenty of room for notes and answers to the student worksheets.

Student Text

Teacher's Edition Text


God's Great Covenant: A Bible Course for Children, The New Testament 1: The Gospels is a great study of Jesus's life, perfect for any student in upper Elementary or lower Middle grades.  It would also be the perfect curriculum for an advanced 3rd grade student.  Priced at $26.95 for the print Student Edition, $29.95 for the print Teacher's Edition and $9.95 for the accompanying MP3 Audio Files.  Old Testament studies are also available for a similar price.

To read more reviews on God's Great Covenant please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog!




Disclaimer - This product was provided to me free for review by Classical Academic Press and the TOS Homeschool Review Crew.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

TOS Review: Christian Kids Explore Biology



I must say we absolutely LOVE Christian Kids Explore Biology.  This is a curriculum I've always wanted to try out but was never sure about.  I can now say we have been completely missing out!!

The Christian Kids Explore Science series teaches science from a biblical viewpoint.  Most science texts educate from a secular standard, teaching evolution as it's main focus but not Christian Kids Explore Science.  This science text teaches from God's viewpoint, showing his hand in everything we see and touch and giving solid evidence to dispel secular myth in science.

Christian Kids Explore Biology touches on many different biological topics from plants to animals, cells to anatomy.  Each lesson topic is supported by a easy but intensive hands on project.  Each chapter begins with topical information, building solid structure for the subject at hand.  A list of vocabulary words and materials needed for the chapter is also provided at the beginning of each chapter section.  Also available throughout the book are various coloring pages for your children to enjoy while you cover reading about the subject or simply to include the little ones while you work through the book.  There are a series of questions on the subject matter provided per lesson and a review section at the end of every chapter.  Maps, resource materials, coloring pages, biblical verse cards, bonus activities and much more are also provided for copying in the appendixes at the end of the book.  A bonus CD is also available providing these materials and more in an easily printable form for use with the book.

Christian Kids Explore Biology is published by Bright Ideas Press for $34.95.  The bonus materials disk is also available for $12.95.  Both can be purchased online at Bright Ideas Press or through an appropriate retailer.  To read more reviews of this curriculum and the other books in this series, please visit The Old Schoolhouse's Homeschool Review Crew blog.

*Disclaimer - this product and it's accompanying material download was provided by Bright Ideas Press and the TOS Homeschool Review Crew blog for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product provided in a post on my blog.  No money was exchanged in the process of reviewing this product.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Birthday Girl!!

April 8, 2012

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby Laycie.  She's 4 year's old today.  I can hardly believe it.  Time has passed so quickly.

It seems like just yesterday I was being prepped for surgery in anticipation of seeing her precious little face for the first time.  Due to complications, I was put to sleep and the first time I saw her face was in a photo.  She had thick dark hair and a scrunched up baby face.  Within an hour, I was holding her tiny body in my arms loving on my sweet girl.  It was as if we'd never been apart.

The first time Emmalee saw Laycie, she told me "Mommy, she's our Angel".  And she surely has been.  She is a true blessing to each of us and fills our heart with Joy every single day.  She is the sweetest little girl I know.  She's thoughtful and fun and filled with God's light.  A precious gift of God.

The older she gets, the more her personality shows and it is such a strong and triumphant personality.  She has strong opinions and a strength to overcome so much in life.  Nothing seems to get her down.  She loves everyone, loves to ask questions, sing, dance and read.  She has a hard time choosing between Mommy and Daddy's girl and that's just fine with us.

She loves playing outdoors, riding in Daddy's truck helping him do whatever he needs, getting dirty, and looking for life at the pond with Mommy or Daddy of course!  I fully expect she'll be a logger just like her Daddy and Grumpy when she grows up though Daddy wishes a different life for her.

She's definitely no longer a baby and my Mommy heart is a bit sad to say goodbye to her little days though I am overjoyed to watch her become a little lady a little more each day.  God blessed me with each one of my children and my Laycie is certainly a blessing to everyone she comes in contact with.  She is a true gift from God and I could never imagine life without her!

So on her 4th birthday, I send my little girl lots of love and joy, just as she's given to me.  I pray for her to grow into the young lady God wishes for her to be and she seems to be well on her way.

TOS Review: TruthQuest History - American History Vol 1


TruthQuest History may be one of my favorite history programs ever!  This curriculum is written in a completely understandable way with lots of fun activities and book suggestions included.  Written with a Christian perspective, TruthQuest History is a wonderful addition for any homeschool.


For this review, we reviewed TruthQuest American History for Young Students Volume 1: Exploration - 1800 .  This volume is available in both print for $24.95 and PDF file for $19.95.  Optional companion resources are also available to use with this and most volumes of TruthQuest History curriculum.  

We really enjoyed using this particular book in the TruthQuest series.  We had many of the suggested books to use on hand either in our home library or available from our local county library.  Suggested spines to go along with this particular book are Story of the Thirteen Colonies and Story of the Great Republic by H.A. Guerber, as well as This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall.  Also suggested are From Sea to Shining Sea for Children by Peter Marshall and Daniel Manuel, Light and the Glory for Children by Peter Marshall and Daniel Manuel, and Story of the World Volume 3 by Susan Wise Bauer - all three of which we already have in our homeschool library.

As already mentioned, this book covers American History from beginning exploration through the 1800's.  After a brief explanation on how to use the program, the book then dives into history chapter by chapter providing extensive information on different subjects throughout America's history.  From the Discovery of America, to the lost colony, to Jamestown, to George Washington, our countries' historical wars, and much more are all included in the pages of this book.

Each chapter is set up with a brief introduction to the topic at hand, often providing a ThinkWrite topic to broaden your students subject interest.  Then the chapter provides a break down of books that are suggested for reading, allowing a large selection to pick and choose from, followed by suggested activities to assist in better understanding the information covered on the topic.  Audio and video suggestions are made where fitting for use to broaden the subject even more.  At the end of the book is a list of all materials suggested to use with the program in alphabetical order so that you may prepare for the program ahead of schedule as needed.  There is also an appendix listing the ThinkWrite suggestions found throughout the curriculum so they can also be prepared for ahead of time.

This curriculum is a wonderful program for any homeschool to use, teaching History through books and not just facts.  The suggestions are wholesome and show strong Christian value while thoroughly covering each topic at hand.  TruthQuest History can be purchased online through various vendors or on their website at www.truthquesthistory.com.  For more reviews of this curriculum, please visit the TOS Homeschool Review Crew on the blog!

Disclaimer- This volume of TruthQuest History was provided by the publisher, as well as the TOS Homeschool Review crew, for free in exchange for my honest opinion on the curriculum as used in my home.  No money was exchanged in the process of this review.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TOS Review: Amazing Animals By Design


In the book, Amazing Animals by Design by Debra Haagen, John and Sarah take a trip to the zoo to learn about the Amazing Animals there.  They quickly learn that every animal is created in God's design for his purpose.  From elephants to giraffes to zebras, every animal is made especially for God's plan.

This wonderful book, written by Debra Haagen from The Old Schoolhouse's Homeschool Review Crew, provides answers to many of the questions children often ask about animals in relation to God's reasoning. Taking her direction from the many animals at some of the top American zoo's, Mrs. Haagen provides an interesting and educational story that children in grade pre-k through 3rd will greatly enjoy.

Amazing Animals by Design is currently available as an eBook, PDF file, for $7.99 or in Paperback for $8.99.  It can be purchased online or at your local bookstore.  To learn more about this book please visit www.AmazingAnimals.blogspot.com.  For more reviews of this book, please visit the TOS Homeschool Review Crew.



*Disclaimer - An ebook copy of Amazing Animals by Design was provided to me FREE for review by Debra Haagen and The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew in exchange for my honest opinion provided in a blog post on my blog.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday's For Us


Our weeks are always filled with busy-ness but Tuesdays are generally our busiest days since we have to get up earlier than our normal days for therapy.  Generally, our weekdays start at 8:30 - 9 am and I let my kids sleep until they wake up.  On Tuesdays, we must be up by 8 am to make it to therapy on time.  This is perfectly fine for my early-riser son but my sleepy-headed girls don't like it any more than I do.

So we drag ourselves about our Tuesday mornings getting ready, making sure Laycie has her medicine, finding shoes and socks, then heading out the door to drop Winston off at Maa-Maa's, and then heading to our destination at our pediatric therapy.  Speech, physical and occupational for Laycie and physical for Emmalee.  The girls enjoy this time a lot and I appreciate that they do since they need the extra help to correct differing issues for each of them.

After therapy we often run our town errands.  Today was picking up a photo, shower curtain and groceries.  Then we head back home to retrieve our darling brother, spend a little time visiting and back home to get whatever needs done, done.

Seriously, just thinking about our Tuesday's tires me out!!  I truly think the pregnancy fatigue doesn't help though.  Tuesday afternoons are generally filled with educational videos or books and lots of play since we don't have a lot of time left in the day.  Sometimes Laycie and I will catch a quick nap, depending on how tired she is after her therapy.

The rest of the week is spent slowly, just like we like it, with no early-rising (except for Winston, of course - but he enjoys his morning alone time) and going through the day as it comes up.  Activities for school are completed as scheduled and fun play happens as we find time during the week.

So all of that said, I find today was a rather long Tuesday for me, probably because I couldn't sleep last night and had to rise early today.  Bedtime will come sooner rather than later and hopefully I will make up for last night's lack of rest.

How did you spend your Tuesday??

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