Friday, February 23, 2018

Finally Focused {Blogging for Books Review}

Finally Focused

Little known fact:  Not only are we an Epilepsy family but we are also an ADHD family as well.  My oldest has always had issues with ADHD and this, along with our younger three's seizures are one of many reasons why we chose Homeschooling.  I'm always looking for new ideas to help him and my other two children who have ADHD as well, find things to manage this disorder.  Finally Focused by James Greenblatt, M.D, and Bill Gottlieb, CHC, peaked my interest immediately.

To be honest, in my research, I've found that ADHD and Epilepsy mirror each other a great deal.  One child gets overwhelmed or stressed and seizes.  The other becomes hyperactive and can't stop themselves or shut down.  Both have end results that need assistance. 

Finally Focused helps you to find balance.  It shows you ways to restore attention.  It helps you find ways to minimize your child's hyperactivity and it helps you eliminate drug side effects when necessary.  As a family, we don't medicate for ADHD but some of these ideas were helpful for our Epilepsy medication side effects. 

I'm a believer in treating the disorder naturally with simple and natural methods as much as possible.  This book will help you to make that happen.  Routine, rest, good diet are all contributors and all discussed within the pages of this wonderful book.  You'll find tons of ideas to use in your own home with your own families.

Finally Focused is available through Harmony Books as well as other retailers.  The book sells for $12.99 on Kindle, or $11.55 in paperback on Amazon.  This is a must read for all families with an ADHD child.

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? {Tyndale Book Review}

In a household filled with children, we are always on the hunt for great new books to read.  Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? fit exactly what we look for in a great book.  This book, a part of the I've Got Questions series made a great family read for us all.

Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley get the fact that when you have kids, you get questions.  Lots of questions.  Questions all day long.  Questions every day. 

I've been asked the question, "do baby bears have Mommies?" more than once myself.  Well this little book helps to answer that question, among others that leads to an adorable story that shares with your little one the love of God.  Baby bears do indeed have Mothers, just as we do and a Mother's love is a precious thing.

Be sure to add this adorably written and beautifully illustrated book to your home library.  It's one your family will love for generations to come.  Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? is 32 pages in length and priced at $9.99 at Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

No More Perfect Marriages {Moody Publishers Review}

I admit I am a huge fan of Jill Savage.  She's one of my favorite Christian authors and my love began with her book No More Perfect Moms.  This book really touched my heart so when I saw No More Perfect Marriages, I knew it was a must read as well!

My personal relationship choices have not always been the best.  It took me a long time to learn to choose a man by God's standards.  This isn't something we're taught in today's world.  So finding the perfect marriage has been challenging for me personally.

The one thing I do know is that no marriage is perfect, just as no person is perfect.  You both have to want it.  You both have to work hard to have your marriage work.  You both have to put in all that you can to have everlasting happiness.

And you have to be Real.  Be real together.  Overlook the flaws of one another and find forgiveness.

Through No More Perfect Marriages, Mark and Jill Savage guide you through the fundamentals of creating a healthy marriage with each other.  They teach you how to forgive past mistakes and move forward to build the best love your life has known.  You learn to guard against the seven "slow fades" and grow. 

No More Perfect Marriages is the perfect book to make you realize that you're not alone and others struggle with marriage and relationships as well.  It's a helpful book to help you find your way back to a happier and more loving marriage.  This is one book you will love!

No More Perfect Marriages is available for $11.19 through Moody Publishers in Paperback or for $8.79 in eBook format. 

Jill Savage can be found online at:

Jill Savage Website:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

10 Things to Do With Your Preschooler

10 Things to Do With Your Preschooler:

1. Talk a walk.

We love long walks to see the world.

2. Grow flowers.  

They are fun to watch grow and fun to pick when they bloom.

3. Play with blocks.

You can build a fort, or a castle, or a car track.  Let your imagination go wild!

4. Play with cars.

When you finish building your block track, race a few cars along it.

5. Playdough

I was not a fan of playdough when my oldest kids were little but it's since grown on me.  Make animals, shapes, and other things your imagination comes up with.

6. Kick a ball.

My littles love to kick balls down the hallway or outside.  

7. Dig a hole.

Dig and see what worms you find among other things.  Make mud pies.

8.  Wash toys.

We like to wash our toys.  It teaches needed skills for homekeeping and is just plain fun.

9.  Read a book.

Books help the mind to grow and helps your child open their imagination to a world of fun.

10.  Build a fort.

Use chairs and a blanket to make a fort for your child to play beneath.  Join in to see tons of smiles and happiness.

We hope this list gave you some great ideas to use with your preschoolers.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ultrakey Online {Crew Review}

UltraKey Bytes of Learning

Here we are on this beautiful spring day, ready to write our first review for the Homeschool Review Crew!  I'm so excited to be back on the Crew for another year and ready to bring you many amazing products that I know you guys will enjoy just as we do!  Our first vendor and review this year is from Bytes Of Learning.  We were so excited and blessed to be able to review their Ultrakey Online Family Subscription.

UltraKey Online Family Edition

Ultrakey Online is a wonderful designed program that teaches typing to students.  There are various levels to the program which allow you to start from the beginning and work your way up, or will allow you to assess where you need to begin and build from there.  So you can use the program for any skill level and increase those skills to become better at typing overall.

We were given access to Ultrakey Online Family Subscription which allows us to use the program with the entire family.  You can use this program with up to 8 users but you can email Bytes of Learning if you do have a larger family and they also have wonderful suggestions for that.  8 was just the right number for our family of 7!

UltraKey Online Family Edition

As a parent/teacher, I was able to set up the program really easily for my students.  The directions are easy to understand.  The program also talks you through each step in some areas which is nice as well, especially for the younger kids who are still learning reading.

At this time, the program uses the North American keyboard and spelling but there are plans to adapt this for the UK, Australia and New Zealand in the next year.  As we live in the US, this was not a problem for us.  We were able to use the program immediately and have enjoyed it.

When you begin setting up the program, you will log in the information, user name and password for each of your students.  You can then choose Family settings which are basically the settings for how the program will run.  You can allow your student to choose as they work through the program or you can set the program to one paragraph up to an entire text to type.  You can allow access to the gaming zone or block it.  The gaming zone is a reward program for working through the program and rewards the user for completing goals, encouraging them to continue with the program and discouraging boredom.

In Student Management itself, you can set individual goals for your student's typing.  You can customize these as you see fit or you can allow the program to develop goals for your student.  You choose whatever is best for you.

In Student Settings, you can choose backgrounds that fit that student, as well as color choices and hand settings.

You can choose their spoken support, more or less.  You can choose step-by-step learning, how much practice is allowed, and whether back spacing is or is not allowed during use of the program lessons and tests.

The program allows for reports of the students work, as well as reports for the family itself to compare.  At the end of the program a certificate can also be printed to show that you have completed the work.  This is a great addition for homeschool portfolios and for college entrance.

Through this program you will learn not only typing, but also finger position and posture.  You will be able to develop these as you work through the lessons.  Proper posture and finger position is an important part of any typing program.

The program is filled with videos for each lesson, too.  This shows you how to type correctly, gives you pertinent information on use of the program and also encourages you to do your best while using the program and for years following.  All Win-Win-Win for the program!

One of our favorite parts was the Game Zone that I mentioned above.  These are just fun little extras that we were able to play around with to make typing fun.  A nice break from the regular typing program as you worked through.

The program is able to be used by anyone.  If your child is able to sit and knows the basics of letters and words, they can begin this program.  If you are 67 and want to build your typing skills, you can use this program.  So long as you have the skills to type, it's something you can use to help build stronger skills with typing.

We truly enjoyed working with Ultrakey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning.  The 8-User Family Subscription that we were given costs $49.95.   There are other smaller versions available as well for slightly less cost.

You can find Bytes of Learning online at:

Read More Reviews:

UltraKey {Bytes of Learning Reviews}


Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Spring's Here (2018)

Spring is here and I'm so thrilled.  That cold was really getting to me y'all!  Enjoy a little taste of Spring from us:

Resurrection Day {Paradise Praises Review}

Spring is in the air where we live and this means that Resurrection Day is coming up fast as well.  I am always looking for great ways to teach the kids the meaning behind our holidays while keeping it fun and interesting.  Katie Hornor has created a wonderful Easter Activity and Coloring Book appropriately titled: Resurrection Day.  

Resurrection Day: An Easter Activity & Coloring Book is a English/Spanish coloring book that contains 30 pages of fun for yourself or your child.  This book is jam packed with activities from word puzzles to letter formation to coloring pages, all in one book.  The last few pages are in Spanish but are easy to decode for those who may not have any instruction in Spanish at this point.  

The English version of this coloring book is published by Paradise Praises, a company ran by Katie and family.  The Spanish version of this coloring book is published by the sister company, Lemonhass.  Both are wonderful activity books that you will love using with your little ones.

I love the simple designs in this coloring book and the formatting for the writing inside.  They are impactual enough to capture my child's attention but not overwhelming.  And as I said already, they are simply fun!

Resurrection Day: An Easter Activity & Coloring Book by Katie Hornor is available for purchase online both through Paradise Praises and through Lemonhaus.  The sale link for this item leads to purchase on Amazon for $6.99 currently with Prime shipping.   Purchasing the book allows a Single Use reproducible license for your family.  You may also purchase a group license for use in Church or other larger group formats.

Katie Hornor can be found online at: 
Paradise Praises:


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Amicalola Falls, Day Trip (2018)

Yesterday, I stood underneath a waterfall.  Water sprayed down on me.  The wind felt like it could lift me and take me far away.

I've only been to one waterfall in my life, many years ago when Emma was three and tried to eat the rocks.  It was a trickle of water, just enough to enjoy in the hot summer heat but it was nothing like this one.

I stood on top of this waterfall and looked down at the length and I thought about how something so peaceful can become so powerful within just a few feet.  Just a few steps and the sweet little stream became a powerful mass of water going over the edge of the mountain side.

Looking down on this waterfall, I knew I wanted to go down and look upwards.  I wanted to see both sides of this beautiful Earth element.  I wanted to see the beauty in every direction.

So down we drove to the bottom.  The wading and reflection pool that the beautiful flowing fall trickled into was peaceful and calm.  Looking up was as beautiful as looking down.

My husband and I walked up the trail and listened to the sounds of the water as it flowed.  He looked for trout as we continued our walk, amazed that a fish could even survive the strength of that water's flow.  That man will find fish anywhere he goes.

We made it to the first stop and just soaked in the beauty of the flowing water.  The breeze was cool and the sound of the water drowned out the world around us.  I wanted to touch the water, to feel the cold rocks beneath my feet.  I thought about how my children's ancestors would even cross such a place, walking over the rocks to get to the other side of the falls.

Because of my severe anemia, I was out of breath at this point.  I sat and enjoyed the view.  I regained my strength and my breath.  I looked up at the bottom of the strongest part of the falls and wished I could make it up to there.  I wasn't sure I could but as I sat there, I knew if I left and didn't try, that I would regret it forever.

So we walked up 175 steps to the next platform, stopping as I needed to rest and take in the view.  My husband supporting me every step of the way.  He's my strength and my biggest supporter.

I was determined to face my fear of heights, to accomplish this task.  As I walked up and realized their was a grate beneath these falls, I wasn't sure I could finish the climb and stand there.  But I did. 

I faced fears, I accomplished, I forced strength into myself that I had forgotten that I have.  I did it.  I climbed this waterfall and stood beneath it's beauty and soaked it all in. 

The wind was incredible.  The water spray was pelting yet invigorating.  The experience was unforgettable. 

I cannot put into words what this felt like.  I encourage you to experience it for yourself at some point in life.  I promise you it's something you'll never forget!

I came home feeling completely refreshed and ready to face the world.  I came home ready to share with the world.  Sometimes, you just need to take a few steps off the beaten path to remind yourself that there is more to life than the mundane every day.  You just need to see the beauty of God's world for yourself and remind yourself that we are here to live every day to the fullest!

Until next time...

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cold and Spring

It's been cold here in the South.  And being the Southern Belle that I am, I simply despise the cold.  Rain, sleet, ice, snow... all of that stuff is not for me!  I prefer the warmth of the Sun, the hot sand on the beach or a nice walk up a mountain trail. 

This cold has been keeping us in.  Along with the huge Flu outbreak.  No one's got time for that mess!

Thankfully (and knock on wood!) the Flu has not found our house and I hope greatly that it won't.  We have had the sniffles this week and sinus headaches which tells me that Mother Nature is sending Spring on the way!  This is the side of Spring that I do not enjoy.

But I do look forward to butterflies and bees and birds, to walking trails and seeing things we've never seen before.  I look forward to all the awesome weekend events we will be able to participate in very soon.  Field Trips are a homeschoolers DREAM!  Learning at it's finest!

So I'm excitedly looking forward to Spring and all the new beginnings that it brings us in our new home.  I look forward to bonding together while camping and making smores by the campfire again.  I'm looking forward to fishing and seeing my husband catch the "big one" somewhere we've never fished before.  I'm looking forward to learning new things, seeing new sights and enjoying these years that I have left before my children are grown and ready to move on.

Until next time...



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